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Maids for Sale: Silicon Valley’s Online Slave Market - BBC News

Maids for Sale: Silicon Valley’s Online Slave Market - BBC News
in the gulf women employed as domestic workers are being sold

online

via apps approved and provided by google and apple it's been called an

online

slave

market

our bbc

news

arabic team posed as a husband and wife looking to buy a domestic worker in kuwait ready yes an app called for

sale

is used to buy and sell domestic workers alongside cars and tvs the bbc team spoke to 57 users of for

sale

who were selling their domestic workers

online

for thousands of most women had no knowledge they
maids for sale silicon valley s online slave market   bbc news
were being advertised

online

and then solved app users were violating national and international law on modern

slave

ry human trafficking and forced labour by selling these women they were also denying domestic workers their basic human rights it okay it's not the only app being used to sell women

online

the bbc found hundreds of domestic workers for

sale

on saudi app and facebook owned instagram the undercover team arranged to meet with some of the sellers in person one of them who told us
he was a policeman urged our team to break the law by confiscating the domestic workers passport and denying her any time off okay a new ad appears on for

sale

an african domestic worker for 3 800 hey the undercover team get ready to meet the seller first exit nothing could prepare them for what happens next okay we're shocked to find this woman offering to sell us a child the young girl seems withdrawn and confused by employing a domestic worker under the age of 21 this woman is
breaking kuwaiti law and could face up to six months in prison we showed our footage to amie labula the un special rapporteur on contemporary forms of

slave

ry this is the quintessential example of modern

slave

ry here we see a child being sold and traded like chattel like a piece of property what they are doing is illegal it is not only in violation of national kuwaiti law it is a violation of international human rights law and labor standards so google apple facebook or any other companies are
maids for sale silicon valley s online slave market   bbc news
hosting apps like these they have to be held accountable what they are doing is promoting an

online

slave

market

google apple and facebook all claim that they prohibit modern

slave

ry and human trafficking on their platforms but we found thousands of domestic workers being illegally sold through hashtags used on instagram and other apps provided by google and apple the

online

slave

market

would not be possible without the system of employment used across the gulf known as cafella where a domestic
worker's visa is tied to their employer or sponsor under this system the domestic worker cannot quit their job or leave the country without their sponsor's permission kuwait has some of the strongest laws to prevent sponsors from abusing this system but apps like for

sale

haraj and instagram enable employees to sell the sponsorship of these workers to other employers for a profit creating an unregulated black

market

that leaves women more vulnerable to abuse and exploitation that's
the problem with that kind of a system is that employer thinking that they own already the worker but it doesn't it shouldn't be the situation it's only the service but not the the totality of the person together we are stronger anna bunda is the founder of sandigan an ngo which campaigns for the welfare and rights of domestic workers in kuwait following anne's advice we show our video of the underage girl to kuwaiti authorities to see if foreign ten days later they managed to
maids for sale silicon valley s online slave market   bbc news
find the girl who we are calling fatu she'd been sold to another employer they take her to the government-run shelter for domestic workers where she's interviewed by a government official she admits to being underage and is deported back to guinea fatu is one of hundreds of underage girls trafficked each year from guinea west africa she's now living with an adopted family in qanakuri the capital city she worked for three different households in her nine months in kuwait but was
only paid two-month salary she didn't want to show her face on camera but she wants her story to be heard school again and rebuilding her life in guinea but there are still thousands of domestic workers being bought and sold on instagram haraj and other apps available on google play and the apple app store the policeman and the women who tried to sell us fatu did not provide us with a statement and no legal action has been taken against them the kuwaiti government declined to comment
further on fatu's case following our investigation for

sale

the app which was used to sell fatu removed its domestic workers section and said the allegations are appalling and ones that for

sale

completely condemns facebook which owns instagram told us we do not allow content or behaviour on instagram that may lead to human exploitation haraj the commodity app used in saudi arabia did not provide us with a statement both google and apple told the bbc that this type of behavior has no place
on their application stores and that they are working with app developers to better prevent illegal activity like this on their platforms you