Press

Sri Lankan women 'routinely raped' in Jordanian factory

Daily Mirror |  By  | June, 10 2011 |  Share  | Source Article

Campaign: Classic/Jordan-Sweatshop Abuse, Sexual Predators

Scores of young Sri Lankan women working in a garment factory called ‘Classic Factory' in Jordan sewing clothing for world renowned clothing outlets have suffered routine sexual abuse and repeated rapes, and in some cases even torture, a report released by an organization called Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights said.

Issuing a full detailed report, the US based organization said, quoting one of the young rape victims at the factory, that, "Women who refuse the sexual advances of Classic's managers are also beaten and deported."

"On the weekly holiday, the alleged serial rapist, who is also a Sri Lankan, sends a van to bring four or five young women to his hotel, where he abuses them. 

The lives of the young Sri Lankan rape victims are completely shattered, as in their culture, virginity is highly prized and critical for a good marriage," the report stated.

In October 2010, 2,400 Sri Lankan and Indian workers went on strike demanding the removal of the alleged rapist.  Classic's owner sent this particular manager away, but he returned after one month, it said.

It also said that, through the Institute's National Labour Committee's reports, the Ministry of Labour had been made aware of the sexual abuse as early as 2007, but had done nothing.

"The standard shift at Classic is 13 hours a day, six and seven days a week, with some 18 ½ hour shifts before the clothing is shipped to the U.S.  According to witness testimonies, workers are routinely cursed at, hit and shortchanged of their wages for failing to reach their mandatory production goals.  To press the women to work faster, managers grope and fondle them." The workers-who are from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Egypt, earn a take-home wage of just 61 cents an hour.

 "One Bangladeshi worker recently deported from the Classic factory said that, "all the workers of Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh...everybody will testify that this particular manager raped the Sri Lankan women.  Everybody knows.  In a safe place, the workers will testify," the report also stated.