Sri Lankan Women to Take Birth Control

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  • 06 Apr 2018 12:00 AM
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Recruiters Order Sri Lankan Women to Take Birth Control Before Working in the Middle East

Sri Lankan women who take up domestic work in the Middle East to support families devastated by conflict are being targeted by recruitment agents who order them to take contraceptives before leaving – with six recruiters, licensed by the Sri Lankan government, saying that they could provide an employer with a “three-month guarantee” that a maid would not become pregnant. While no women were prepared to speak openly about being forced to take contraceptives, the Guardian found that many recruitment agencies make migrant workers take Depo-Provera, an injectable contraceptive that lasts for three months. Rahini Bhaskaran, coordinator of Migrants Network, a migrant rights organisation, said women were so desperate for work that they complied unquestioningly with the stipulations of recruiters. Bhaskaran believes the contraceptive serves a double purpose: covering up potential sexual assaults by recruitment agents and serving as a guarantee to prospective employers in the Middle East that workers will not get pregnant.

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