NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Morocco has agreed to help Saudi Arabia fill its current shortage of domestic workers but says the women who are sent to the kingdom must be at least 45 years old, news website Emirates 24/7 said in a report.
Citing Moroccan authorities, domestic workers sent to Saudi Arabia will only be allowed to work in large family units, the report said.
The kingdom long has been criticised by human rights groups for abusive and exploitative working conditions for domestic workers, who represent about 2 million people.
It has been negotiating with the Philippines and Indonesia, two of its major domestic labour suppliers, which stopped sending workers to Saudi Arabia in 2011.
Earlier this year, Sri Lanka, another major supplier of domestic workers, raised the minimum age to 25 for women permitted to work in the kingdom after a Sri Lankan housemaid was beheaded after being found guilty of the 2005 death of an infant in her care when the woman was 17.
The family accused her of strangling the baby boy but the maid said he died choking on milk.
In May, Saudi Arabia signed an agreement with the Philippines designed to re-open the pipeline of domestic workers to the kingdom by guaranteeing housemaids and other workers improved working conditions, including on-time monthly payment of salaries, a weekly day off and eight hours off daily.
Maids in Saudi Arabia typically make around $400 a month.