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Zimbabwe care workers abused in UK

by Staff reporter
01 Nov 2023 at 05:54hrs | Views
A recent survey has highlighted that Zimbabweans, among other foreigners, are being subjected to exploitation in the United Kingdom's care work sector. The report from the United Kingdom's national helpline for victims of modern slavery revealed that these foreign workers, including Zimbabweans, are forced to work long hours and face various forms of abuse.

The report found that women are disproportionately represented among victims of exploitation in the care sector, with a significant number of potential victims being female. Indian nationals constituted 48% of all potential victims, while Zimbabweans and Nigerians were also highly represented.

One concerning statistic was that a quarter of the 1.5 million people working in the sector have no employment contracts, making them particularly vulnerable to exploitation. The report also highlighted the high average debt, amounting to £11,800, incurred by overseas care workers for recruitment, visa, and travel costs. This financial burden often makes them more susceptible to exploitation.

The report pointed out various forms of abuse, including withholding wages, non-compliance with minimum wage requirements, debt bondage, poor living conditions, confinement, monitoring, and multiple forms of emotional, physical, and racial abuses.

Zimbabwe has experienced a significant exodus of health workers, particularly nurses and doctors, who have left the country in pursuit of better opportunities. The United Kingdom's health system has been in need of staff to fill vacant positions, especially following the loss of frontline health workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Amid the country's ongoing socio-economic challenges, many Zimbabweans are also seeking training as nurse aides, and more than 4,000 nurses left the country since 2021, according to the Health Services Board's report in November 2022.

Source - newsday
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