United Insurance wins right to cover domestic workers abroad


The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, which floated a tender two weeks ago to award domestic worker life insurance coverage for Ethiopians working in Arab countries, awarded the contract to United Insurance Company (UNIC).
Ethiopian Insurance Corporation, Awash, Nyala, Ethio Life, Oromia, and Nib were among those contending for the bid.
MoLSA’s endeavor is for domestic workers to be covered for accidental death and disability.
The insurance will cover domestic workers who fly to Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Qatar under a bilateral domestic worker agreement with the Ethiopian government.
Domestic workers who travel to these countries must have proper training from vocational schools.
The vocational school trainings last from one to three months and focus on housekeeping, caregiving, domestic work and driving cars.
So far 140 agencies have registered to send domestic workers to the destination countries.
On October 2013, the government banned domestic workers from traveling abroad due to the rampant torturing, sexual harassment and other civil rights violations endured by many Ethiopians in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and other Middle Eastern countries.
After the ban was placed, the number of illegal brokers and undocumented migrants increased, causing a surge in the loss of life en route and at sea.
According to proclamation 923/2016 direct domestic worker employment is only for staff where the employers is an Ethiopian mission or an international organization and where the job seekers acquires a job opportunity by their own accord in job positions other than house maid service.
Receiving countries are expected to protect the life and the disability insurance coverage rights of domestic workers.
The proclamation requires domestic workers to have certificates proving that they have at least three months of training in their respective fields. Agencies that send workers abroad must have one million birr in capital in order to obtain a license.
Currently the International Labor Organization and the European Union are working with the Ethiopian government to reduce illegal migration protect the rights of domestic workers.