Yemenis Protest Against New Saudi Labour Ruling

Thousands of Yemeni labourers face deportation following new Saudi regulations that require expats to work only for their sponsors.



Hundreds of Yemenis are protesting in capital Sana’a demanding the abolishment of a new regulation in the Kingdom that states that foreign workers can only work for their sponsors.

The new ruling, introduced last week, is expected to lead to the deportation of thousands of Yemenis working in Saudi.

Several people gathered in front of the Saudi Embassy in Sana’s earlier this week to express their concern, according to local media reports.

Rajeh Badi, adviser to Yemen’s prime minister, told Reuters that the ruling would affect more than 200,000 Yemenis in Saudi, while the Yemeni Migrants Organization estimated the number to reach up to 300, 000.

“If the decision is implemented, it will cause significant damage to the … Yemeni economy, of which expatriates are a backbone since their remittances reach about $2 billion a year,” Badi said.

According to Saudi media reports, the Yemeni government has sent a high-level ministerial delegation to discuss issue and request a waiver for its workers.

Around three million Yemeni migrants currently reside in the Kingdom.

Saudi introduced the new regulations as part of measures to create more jobs for its citizens and reduce rising national unemployment.

Nearly 800,000 illegal workers in the Kingdom have already been deported in the past 15 months, Bader al-Malik, spokesman for the General Department of Passports in Riyadh, recently told Saudi dailies.

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