In the midst of the Coronavirus crisis, photographs of a migrant worker forced into acting as a human hand sanitizer for oil giant Saudi Aramco have been widely condemned.
Pictures taken in the lobby of the oil giant Saudi Aramco’s headquarters show the man wearing a face mask and standing inside an actual hand sanitizer box.
Saudi Aramco subsequently released a statement on Twitter saying they have taken “drastic measures” to make sure the incident does not happen again.
Despite the disregard for human dignity, the statement did not mention an apology or if any kind of compensation will be made to the migrant worker.
Twitter users have been labelling the incident as exploitative and racist, and have pointed to the history of human rights abuse in Saudi Arabia – towards the country’s migrant workers and in other spheres.
اهداء من أرامكو pic.twitter.com/FpWsUNw7mE
— هشام فقيه (@HishamFageeh) March 10, 2020
Saudi Aramco is listed by Wikipedia as the most profitable company in the World.
They own the second-largest proven crude oil reserves in the world and produce the second-largest daily oil production.
In December 2019, the state-owned company was listed as having a market capitalisation of about $1.88 trillion.
A statement on the home page of the company reads: “Our behavior is what defines us – as a company, as employees, as people. Everything we do is anchored by our corporate values: citizenships, safety, accountability, excellent and integrity.”
Saudi Arabia is in the midst of an oil price war with Russia. The country has around 21 cases of the Coronavirus.
Image credit: HishamFageeh