GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

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Title of Paper:
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Undocumented Labour in Saudi Arabia
Paper Proposal Text :
In the last few decades Saudi Arabia and Jeddah has experienced a massive flow of undocumented migrants. This phenomena is particularly interesting in Saudi Arabia because it involves migrants from different continents and countries offering the opportunity of a cross-sectional analysis of their communities. This Thesis will focus in particular on the case of Jeddah as a case study for the whole country. For the first time, using both a quantitative and qualitative analysis, a researcher has been able to access some of the undocumented migrants’ communities living in the city in their own environment and, through face-to-face interviews to gather their personal narratives about their lives as undocumented. In particular, this research will analyse twelve communities chosen for being the most representative in the city of Jeddah: the African (e.g., Ethiopian, Eritrean, Somali, Sudanese, Chadian, Nigerian, Burkinabe, Ghanaian, and Cameroonian), the Yemeni, the Filipino and Indonesian ones. Despite sharing the common experience of living as undocumented in the Kingdom, their relationship with the members of their communities, with the other communities and with the Saudi society are as different as their background. This study also offers the opportunity of a discussion on the immigration policies adopted by Saudi Arabia and on their failure in tackling the problems of the undocumented migrants on its soil. Due to the sensitivity of the subject the researcher guaranteed full confidentiality and anonymity to the interviewees from all the communities who accepted to share their experiences with him.