"If the mother goes abroad, the husband might start drinking, or the oldest sister might have to leave school to take care of the kids," says Father Roy.Instead of paying for tuition or food, the husband or older children might misuse the money the wife sends home.
"For two days I was shut in there with no food or water.
It was dark." Daya had arrived in Kuwait in 2006, knowing from previous work in Oman that being a maid was hard. until late in the evening seven days a week, keeping house for her employers and their 5 small children.
And while many maids are treated well, a significant number face extreme--even bizarre--cruelty.
Locked in houses or apartments with no access to phones, often unpaid for months or years, they are slaves.
Indrani, a Sri Lankan woman now in her late twenties, was kept in her employers' high-rise apartment in Lebanon for eight years. If Madam went to the bathroom, she took the key with her.
The four walls were like a prison." Indrani's family in Sri Lanka called many times, trying to reach her.Caritas Kandy gave her a loan to build a shop where she can sell tea and the produce she grows.Photo by Laura Sheahen/CRS Raising awareness among vulnerable populations is key."She would inspect the house, and if she was not happy, she would beat me," Daya remembers.'The Four Walls Were Like a Prison' Daya's story is not an isolated case."The ordeals that some maids go through are appalling," says Father George Sigamony, director of Caritas Sri Lanka.