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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Committing suicide for “blood money”

November 29th, 2009

The National Newspaper (UAE), recently reported about an alarming rise in the number of suicides by migrant workers in Oman, according to hospital staff. Maryam Busaidy, a nurse at the Royal Hospital in Muscat told the paper that “It is not uncommon for the hospital to receive emergency cases of people from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, or Sri Lanka, who make attempts to commit suicide… the sad thing is that they keep increasing all the time. Hardly any month passes without such a case.”

The report suggests that some of these workers are committing suicide so that their families in financial distress receive the “blood money” for them in the sum of 15,000 Omani riyals ($39,000). The money is paid to the families of people who die as a result of negligence, including car accidents.

Mr. Ramakrishnan, an Indian migrant worker whose friend committed suicide, said that the embassies can do more to help migrant workers in distress if they saw it as a priority.

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