The Ministry of Labor confirmed on Sunday that the ban on the recruitment of Ethiopian workers has not been lifted yet and is awaiting the approval of the ministry following its review of the regulations which guarantee the rights of both workers and their sponsors.
“The Saudi and Ethiopian sides have yet to sign a bilateral agreement for labor recruitment,” Undersecretary of the Ministry for International Labor Affairs Dr. Ahmed Al-Fihaid said.
His remarks came following a meeting between Labor Minister Adel Fakeih and visiting Speaker of Ethiopia’s House of Representatives Abba Dola Qmda Aqho and the accompanying delegation.
The two parties discussed the situation of some 350,000 Ethiopian workers in the Kingdom, and the future of the deal to recruit Ethiopian labor to the Kingdom. The Ethiopian official in his turn vowed to respond positively to the agreement.
Al-Fihaid added that the meeting discussed the situation of the current Ethiopian laborers in the Kingdom, some of whom are illegal residents.
The Ethiopian side pledged to make serious efforts to educate workers prior to their arrival in the Kingdom about the country’s regulations and how to make a legal entry to the country and respect the agreements of both parties. The official also agreed to revive the role of the Ethiopian Embassy in educating its nationals about the Kingdom’s laws and to coordinate with Saudi officials on several issues including the influx of Ethiopians to the Kingdom. He stressed that the laborers needed a high level of training on the culture, language and customs of Saudi Arabia.
Mr. Aqho praised the Kingdom’s hospitality and said that the dialogue to regulate the recruitment of Ethiopian laborers will continue.