MRC: Expat protests result of years of neglect

Migrant workers employed by Island Expert, the contractor for the housing project for security services in suburban Hulhumale’. (Sun Photo/Ahmedulla Abdul Hadi)

Maldives Red Crescent (MRC) has stated that the violence spurred from protests by expatriates in the Maldives recently, was the result of years of neglect.

MRC said that the living condition of expatriates in the Maldives was always a concerning issue. The share of expatriates in the development of the country was very high due to the large expatriate population, noted the MRC. 

The recent spate of unrest and protests by expatriates showed that the Maldives has been neglectful towards resolving their econo0mic and social challenges and find them a life of content in addition to upholding their rights.  This was something that has gone unaddressed, as evident from the recent protests, said the MRC. 

The issues pointed out by most expatriates are to be resolved immediately.  They include safety in the work environment, payment of wages, improvement of the shambolic living standards, provision of health services, and other necessary requirements to be fulfilled by their employers who bring them to the Maldives.

July 13, 2020: Protests by Island Expert expatriates over unpaid wages. (Sun Photo/Ahmedulla Abdul Haadhy)

MRC said that expatriates were at most at risk from famine, diseases, and natural disasters.

MRC said that it would not differentiate between a local and an expatriate in its work. After having worked to observe and assist expatriate workers during the COVID-19 situation, MRC called to bring down the disparity in treatment towards expatriates and locals as well as to fully pay their wages and uphold their rights as well. This can only be done with the collective effort of the entire community, said the MRC. 

Recent protests by expatriates have turned violent. The protests in B. Bodufinolhu earlier this month as well as the more recent protests in Hulhumale’ have shown the true gravity of the situation.