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Although the number of distressed domestic workers calling for help has increased among Indians, two other labour-sending countries – the Philippines and Indonesia – have recorded a marked decline in cases in the first two weeks of Ramadan compared to previous months and years, diplomats confirmed to Khaleej Times.

“We have received distressed calls from many Indian women working in the UAE as house help,” noted the Press Wing of the Consulate General of India – Dubai (CGI-Dubai), adding: “The number of such distress cases is higher in Ramadan than in previous months. The consulate has been facilitating each request for the safe return of these ladies to their respective families.”

The Indian Consulate did not provide specific numbers, but according to social workers, there have been more than 20 distress calls in the first two weeks of Ramadan, whereas the average was only between 5 and 7 calls in other months.

Some household workers who ran away from their employers cited being overworked and having to endure longer work hours, while others said they experienced varying forms of maltreatment, such as verbal and physical abuse.

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