Page 1 opens with this turn: Filipina domestic worker, employed in Riyadh: 'Really they are good to me. If I say I need rest, they give me rest.' [ And if they were t so good to you, if you would have some problem with your employer, where would you go? ] 'Madam, I cant go anywhere, I am t allowed to go outside. I cant go to the embassy. I will just cry in my room and pray.' This book explores the conflicts faced by the worker far from home, having signed a contract written in a foreign language, her passport held by her employer, and with limited power to be a witness in court. Domestic Workers in Saudi Arabia and the Emirates is a new socio-legal study of pressing questions of human rights, contractual consent, transnational markets, and social policy: Which factors influence the emergence and character of conflicts in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates between domestic workers and their employers, the social and legal rms to which both parties refer, and the related imbalance of power? In what way and to what extent do domestic workers and their employers refer to Islamic, customary, contractual, and formal legal rms? Do conflicts concern disagreement over rms, or disputes regarding behavior contrary to the rms upon which both parties agree? Which factors influence the rms to which both parties in conflicts refer? Which party is able to enforce its own rms or to act contrary to rms on which both parties agree, and which factors influence the balance of power? Vlieger explores such questions by using a grounded-theory methodology of extensive field research and revealing interviews with workers, employers, employment agencies, human rights organizations, and governmental officials. This is an insightful look into ather world-supported with scholarly research, but accessible and interesting to the general reader, as well as to academics and human rights activists. Part of the new Human Rights and Culture Series from Quid Pro Books.
Antoinette Vlieger teaches law at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands and earned her Ph.D. in 2011 from the university's law faculty. She also holds degrees in international law, Dutch law, cultural anthropology, and sociology of the non-Western world. She has practiced corporate law, and previously interned at The Hague and the United Nations.