chapter  8
About Cleanliness, Closeness and Reliability: Somali and Ethiopian Domestic Workers in Yemen
ByMARINA DE REGT
Pages 20

Yemen, the poorest country on the Arabian Peninsula, is primarily known as a sending country in migration: labour migration has been one of the main pillars of Yemen’s economy since the formation of the republic in 1970, with large numbers of Yemenis migrating to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States. However, since the early 1990s Yemen has also turned into a receiving country. Not only were hundreds of thousands of Yemeni migrants expelled from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States after Iraq’s invasion in Kuwait in 1991, but the political and economic changes that took place in the Horn of Africa, in particular in Ethiopia and Somalia, in the early 1990s led to the arrival of large numbers of migrants and refugees from that region. Exact numbers of Ethiopian and Somali migrants and refugees residing in Yemen are not available but estimates vary between tens and hundreds of thousands.