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Middle East: RAIN VIVI - Crowdsourced data to ensure social inclusion for domestic workers

Middle East: RAIN VIVI - Crowdsourced data to ensure social inclusion for domestic workers

by IDWFED published Sep 02, 2015 04:46 PM
RAIN VIVI (RApid INtervention & VIolence VIsualization) is a project that will promote justice for domestic workers using technology as a tool to provide data on the widespread abuse of domestic workers. This data will be publicly available and will be used to provide information of human rights violations in the Middle East to local governance institutions that have the capabilities to impact local conditions.



Action is needed to ensure justice for domestic workers in the Middle East, who are vulnerable to human trafficking and modern type slavery. No data is available to understand the magnitude of this problem. RAIN VIVI using technology as a tool will provide crowdsourced data to create pressure to ensure justice and promote their social inclusion.

Cast your vote and support the RAIN VIVI project

Many domestic workers in the Middle East are vulnerable to human trafficking, forced labor, exploitation and  other forms of abuse. Most domestic workers are excluded from national labor laws. They are not considered employees and their work is not considered work (in law and in practice) and consequently they are excluded from any other regulations that can protect them. Furthermore, under the kafala system (sponsorship system) – described as a form of ‘structural violence’ (A. Gardner, City of strangers: Gulf migration and the Indian community in Bahrain) - most domestic workers live with their employers, leading to restricted mobility and no access to redress mechanisms. This isolation inside private homes leaves domestic workers even more vulnerable and inaccessible for the provision of any kind of support.

In the Gulf Countries alone, there are more than 2,000,000 domestic workers. In Kuwait, one of the smallest Gulf Countries with a population of only 1.3 million citizens (and approximate 2 million foreigners), employs more than 660,000 domestic workers. This amounts to one domestic worker for every two Kuwaiti citizens. The country is home to the second largest number of domestic workers in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia. Their income is less than 20% of the average national income. In Saudi Arabia a domestic worker works in average 63.7 hours a week, the second highest rate in the world. 

The widespread and systematic abuse of domestic workers is well known, yet there is insufficient or no information or data available to examine their situation and provide sound solutions. The scarcity of this evidence is closely linked to the situation itself. Most available or known data comes from domestic workers who have already escaped their abusive situation, have been killed or have committed suicide. This constitutes the main source of available data, which only skims the problem’s surface. Data availability, documentation and visual representation of abuse against domestic workers would help to examine their situation further and pressure the government to take public steps to improve their conditions.

Cast your vote and support the RAIN VIVI project

The Solution:

The project proposed, RAIN VIVI, has the elements and capacity to contribute significantly to the eradication of human trafficking and modern type slavery. RAIN VIVI, with the help of technology and human effort, will produce valuable, reliable and transparent crowdsourced data on when, where and how often does abuse occur - creating a visual map and a database with information and resources of violence against domestic workers never before produced. RAIN VIVI will equip domestic workers with a GPS alarm that can be activated during an emergency. Once the alarm is activated, a distress signal will be sent out to Project 189 and supporters of RAIN VIVI in order to verify the emergency, instantly bring international attention to the case and to make sure that no distress signal goes unheard - creating a database to be used by the global community to exert pressure to eradicate these forms of human rights violations. Through this pressure governments would not be able to continue to ignore the plead from the 2,000,000 + domestic workers in the Middle East who lack basic protection rights and who's justice mechanisms are unaccessible or nonexistent.

Cast your vote and support the RAIN VIVI project

What makes RAIN VIVI unique?:

Project RAIN VIVI would be the world's first alarm and positioning system used to create awareness and help eradicate human trafficking and other forms of exploitation against a particular group - domestic workers in the Middle East. RAIN VIVI brings together three key elements to design a one of a kind project: a tailored technology, a difficult to reach vulnerable group and a comprehensive action plan. 

The technology is designed to be wearable with a GPS tracking system able to send a position, able to voice record and able to communicate through other technology platforms. Domestic workers in the Middle East are unreachable, therefore, women who are in the process to travel to the Middle East to work as domestic workers would be the participants for this project. Each participant will learn the objectives of the project and is trained on how and when to use the GPS alarm including the training of a comprehensive plan on what to do once an alarm is triggered and what will happen. The comprehensive plan brings together organisations and domestic workers to work together to make RAIN VIVI successful. Organisations from origin and destination countries form partnerships to work together and domestic workers are paired into "circle of four". The "circle of four" is a group of four domestic workers from the same origin country and in which their main point of contact are the other three domestic workers. Through the comprehensive action plan organisations work together with the "circle of four" enabling to quickly respond, verify and take action. 

Through the gathering of information and its verification a visual map is created where everyone can see the occurrences of human trafficking and modern type slavery. A more detailed database would be created so in order to compile for the first time such information that up to now has continued to be undocumented and forgotten. The combination of these key elements make this project truly innovative and unique.

Project organisation:
Project 189

Innovation location:

Source: RAIN VIVI: Crowdsourced data to ensure social inclusion for domestic workers

Story Type: News

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