United Arab Emirates royal family suspected for abusing domestic staff

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A domestic staff who escaped from the fourth floor of the Conrad Hotel in Brussels occupied by the royal family is accusing them of exploitation.

2 July 2008

BELGIUM - Several dozen police officers on Tuesday raided the Conrad Hotel in Brussels after labour authorities received allegations that royal family of the late Emir of the United Arad Emirates were exploiting domestic staff.

The Emir's wife, four daughters and their entourage had rented the entire fourth floor of the hotel for an entire year. In all, the family employs 20 domestic staff.

Last Tuesday, four staff members attempted to escape. Three of the four were prevented from doing so by the family's security staff.

The fourth person, a woman, who managed to escape, told the Belgian police that the freedom of movement of domestic staff was being limited and that their passports had been taken away from them.

During the operation, 17 people were taken away for questioning.

The Belgian labour authorities have requested "victim of people-trafficking status" for the woman who escaped last week.

[flandersnews.be / Expatica]

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