Being forced into domestic servitude is one of the most common forms of human trafficking. Yet it remains one of the most invisible, including meager media coverage and law enforcement efforts. Many of the worst offenders in this year's Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report are not a big surprise. They include countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Lebanon where it's common for households to employ immigrant women as live-in nannies and housekeepers but where these workers are left out of coverage by labor laws and basic protections such as freedom to leave the workplace on days off. Should they even get a day off.
The countries that send these workers are not far behind in the rankings, including Indonesia, Nepal, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka. They have yet to effectively rein in the middlemen who recruit women from villages, deceive them about the conditions of work abroad, and extract huge recruitment fees that leave them indebted.