The unspoken rules of modern day slavery!

Source: The unspoken rules of modern day slavery!

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Very recently a particular news is making rounds. Two Nepali women allegedly confined to a Gurgaon apartment  belonging to a Saudi diplomat, abused sexually and beaten badly serving as maids. A clear case of human trafficking, these two women since four months have been allegedly treated as sex slaves and after working through out the day, they were subjected to sexual harassment and passed on from one friend of the diplomat to another as a sex toy. They were beaten too and sometimes not given food. The family of the accused actively participated in the torturing business.

Of course, the Saudi Arabian mission has rejected the charges as false accusations and unproven. No matter what the charges are, or how damning the evidence, someone should be presumed guilty only on the basis of fair investigation or charged on the foundation of strong trials. However, in this case chances are meek if there will ever be any enquiry. At most, there will just be a flight back to home.

Neither India or Nepal will do much to push the issue despite all the outrage. The Vienna Convention holds them back. For those who do not know, The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 is an international treaty that defines a framework for diplomatic relations between independent countries. The treaty is an armor for all diplomats in other countries to safeguard them against any law and trials.

Not long ago, India invoked this convention to demand all charges to be dropped against its diplomat Devyani Khobragade accused of mistreating her child’s nanny. India’s high commissioner to New Zealand and his wife were blamed for assaulting their cook. In another case, an Indian consulate in New York was allegedly found guilty of inhuman treatment towards his maid. Kuwaiti military in US were sued by three Indian women for treating them as slaves and giving inhuman treatment for nay mistakes done.

These are not the only cases. There are many others where justice was outweighed by unfair treatment towards the victim. The sufferers were not even compensated. Some of these stories might be true and some might be exaggerated. but what gives pause is how human trafficking and dearth of jobs push innocents into such abyss and eventually leave them to live a life of slave or sex slave. Slave as a word existed in pre-modern era. But today urban and fancy diplomats and households have introduced modern-day slavery with all the mod cons.

The tragic irony is the Vienna Convention which is being used to protect a class of people from abuse which should come to them for abusing another class of people. “Working for a diplomat” without a doubt tops the list of the most dangerous jobs in the world. Lucrative pay may sound good, but this job comes with an unwritten rule.


Ankita Jain


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