Ruth Franklin, Migrant Worker Contributing to Tourism Industry of the Maldives

MV+ News Desk | August 15, 2022

“It is not just employers that should be held accountable, in many cases the root of the problem lies with Employment Agencies who are using deceptive or fraudulent practices to recruit migrants, especially from South East Asia, to work in the Maldives,” says Ruth Franklin, a foreign worker living in the Maldives since 2012.

Ruth says that she discovered the Maldives over 20 years ago visiting as a tourist.

“In 2012 through a chance meeting over coffee, the opportunity to relocate arose, so I swapped my corporate life in the UK to a destination I loved as a tourist and which I am now fortunate to call home.”

Ruth explained that moving to the Maldives seemed the most natural thing in the world to her. She had an established circle of local friends and an insight into day-to-day life, but she says that she can imagine for others it may be a daunting prospect fused with excitement and trepidation.

“Personally, I have only ever had positive experiences in regards to employment, rights and support. As CoFounder of a tour company focused on sustainable tourism, our policies not only focus on the environment and biodiversity but also human rights and labour relations.”

She further added that she is fully aware that not all migrant workers are treated in the manner we should expect, and that this is a global issue and not something specific to the Maldives.

“The pandemic gave prominence to the situation of migrant workers in the Maldives. It has highlighted that international and domestic companies are failing to protect their migrant work force and therefore surely it has provided the opportunity to revise immigration, migrant labor laws and procedures, so that migrant workers will be provided the appropriate protection.”

Ruth also revealed that her company receive countless emails and Whatsapp messages from manpower service companies.

“As a business we were made aware of such a company advertising for a non-existent position under our company name, which we reported to the necessary authorities.”

Migrant workers contribute a great deal to the Maldivian economy and its development; however, the existence of prejudice and social discrimination keeps us from building connections with this large population.

#migrantworkersarethebackboneofmaldivianeconomy #everyonehasastoryworthtelling