Dubai: A four-year old Saudi boy died of burn wounds on Monday after being “pushed” onto a boiling pot of milk by his domestic helper, according to Saudi media.
The child, Aafat Fawwaz Al Shalaan, was admitted to the Abdul Rahman Al Sudairi Central Hospital in the town of Sakaka in Al Jawf province on Sunday and succumbed to his injuries by dawn on Monday.
The Ethiopian maid is in police custody and the authorities are conducting an investigation into the matter, the child’s father told Saudi newspaper Okaz.
The father added that the family had always treated the maid well, and alleged that the maid admitted to pushing the child onto the pot. Police officials interviewed by Saudi media did not confirm or deny the allegation.
The incident comes after a 10-year old girl was stabbed to death by her maid earlier this month. The Saudi Ministry of Labour recently suspended the recruitment of Ethiopian labourers temporarily pending an investigation into the procedures of recruitment. Saudis have been pushing for a more rigorous testing process for foreign labourers in order to ensure that they are fit to work in the Kingdom—particularly those entrusted with the care of their children.
Cases involving Ethiopians have led to maids from that country becoming a target of campaigns. Last week English daily Arab News ran a front page report with the headline ‘Ethiopian maids? No thanks!’, which resulted in strong criticism and a backlash on social media.