JEDDAH — Many housewives admitted that they increasingly rely on illegal housemaids during Ramadan not only because of procrastination by recruitment offices in completing the hiring process but also due to the incompetence of some the hired workers. Umm Adnan said the prices of the recruitment offices are too high and they make a lot of unnecessary conditions. “I had to look for other ways to find a housemaid to help me with the demanding housework during Ramadan. A few days ago, I hired an African maid on a high salary but she refused to work because I did not have a big room for her in my house. She went back home,” said Umm Adnan. Najlaa Mohammad said the maid she had hired spent her time talking on the phone instead of working. “I did not benefit from my maid at all. She barely works. All of the work is dumped on me when it is actually her job,” said Mohammad. Umm Hasan said she prefers to hire illegal housemaids and pay them by the hour to ensure that they actually do the work. “Hiring housemaids by the hour gives me the flexibility to only hire them when I need them. When I don’t need their services, I don’t have to pay them,” said Umm Hasan. Manal Al-Shihry said the recruitment offices are inefficient and this forced her to hire illegal housemaids to get her housework done. Khalid Al-Fakhry, secretary-general of the National Society for Human Rights Society, said sponsors posting adverts on social media offering the services of housemaids is a form of human trafficking because people trade in human beings as if they are a commodity. “It is a crime if the sponsor of a housemaid offers her services to other people and earns money from the transaction. The sponsors and the housemaids should be more educated about their rights and responsibility so they can legally protect themselves,” said Al-Fakhry.