RIYADH - Saudi Arabia is one of the largest labor markets in the world with 11 million foreign workers from more than 100 countries represented in many sectors and fields of work, according to a senior official.
Adnan bin Abdullah Al-Naim, undersecretary of the Ministry of Labor and Social Development, was addressing Saudi recruiting agents and a 32-member delegation from Colombo at the Council of Saudi Chambers on Tuesday.
The Saudi team was headed by Mansour Al-Shathri, chairman of the Saudi Committee for the Labor Market Council of Saudi Chambers.
Under Saudi Vision 2030, Al-Naim said that efforts were being aimed at making the labor market more attractive to foreign workers.
Al-Naim said that the ministry has been working in coordination with the International Labor Organization (ILO) and other relevant bodies to develop laws that protect the rights of employers and workers and to curtail violations against migrant workers.
He also shared details about the MUSANED scheme where foreign recruitments are processed through an electronic platform providing a variety of services, including e-contracting and e-Visas.
“The program facilitates recruitment procedures and safeguards the rights of concerned parties,” he said.
The undersecretary said that the Saudi labor market is considered the fourth largest in the world, where the number of domestic workers is about 2.3 million workers.
Saudi Arabia is an active member of the ILO, he said, and its systems comply with the provisions of the international organization.
It is a signatory to several conventions on the protection of workers’ rights as well as the prevention of labor violations, breach of contracts, non-payment of salaries and delayed salaries.
Mansour Al-Shathri, chairman of the Saudi Committee for the Labor Market Council of Saudi Chambers, said the meeting comes in the context of reviewing the Saudi labor market regulations to preserve the rights of expatriate workers, improve the working environment and ensure the right relationship between employers and workers within the framework of the bilateral labor agreement.
The visiting team was led by Mangala Randeniya, deputy general manager of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE). Sri Lankan Ambassador Azmi Thassim also attended.
Hailing the efforts of the Saudi authorities to maintain consistency in managing a large foreign workforce, Ambassador Thassim said that under Saudi Vision 2030 workers’ rights are protected and their interests will be looked after.
There are more than 200,000 Sri Lankan domestic workers in Saudi Arabia and half of them are maids, he said.
Reporting by MOHAMMED RASOOLDEEN
© Arab News 2017