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CAIRO – 14 April 2017: The Egyptian consulate in Jedda succeeded in settling a dispute between six Egyptian fishermen and their sponsor in Saudi Arabia and secured their return to Egypt, according to a statement by the Egyptian Foreign Ministry.
The fisherman and their sponsor were invited to the consulate to reach an agreement and the latter issued their exist visas from Saudi Arabia, said consul general of Egypt to Saudi Arabia Hazem Ramadan, confirming that “the fisherman have already returned home.”
The consulate has been communicating with the fishermen and working to resolve the financial dispute with their sponsor and providing all legal support since early April.
According to the Egyptian Fishermen’s Syndicate head Ahmed Nassar, the fishermen travelled to Saudi Arabia with valid work contracts for two years with their sponsor. They had only worked for a few months when the sponsor refused to let them work for him again or return to Egypt, Nassar said, according to Sada El Balad.
The ministry revealed that the sponsor had not paid the fishermen’s salary for several months and they consequently stopped working for almost ten days, which resulted in the dispute.
The sponsorship system (Kafala) requires unskilled migrant laborers in countries like Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Iraq and Jordan to have a sponsor in the country, usually their employer, who holds their passports and has authority over their visa and legal status.
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