Sri Lanka sets 25 year minimum age for maids to Saudi

Jan 24, 2013 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has set a minimum age of 25 years for women seeking to work as maid in Saudi Arabia and 23 years for another seven Middle Eastern countries, information minister Keheliya Rambukwelle said. Rambukwelle said the government would like to phase out sending women as domestic workers gradually. The requirement comes after an under-age Sri Lankan maid was beheaded in Saudi Arabia after being convicted in a court where she had no legal representation, when a child in her care died apparently while drinking milk.

The cabinet of ministers had also approved a minimum age of 21 years for maid for Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Cyprus and other countries.

The lower age for these countries was due to the law that prevails in these counties and greater contractual safeguards for workers, minister Rambukwelle said.

Sri Lanka’s ministry of foreign employment has also set a requirement to gain a domestic housekeeping assistant qualification.