Bangladesh govt asked to provide protection for migrant domestic workers

Md Owasim Uddin Bhuyan | Published: 00:06, May 29,2018 | Updated: 01:43, May 29,2018


Saudi employers’ on Monday drew severe protests from rights activists in Bangladesh for abusing ‘our domestic workers’ physically and sexually.
The rights activists also blasted the government for keeping silence since over 200 domestic workers coming back from the
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia each month as victims of sexual abuse.
New Age learnt from the officials as well as the rights activists in Bangladesh that before leaving for home, all the victims complained to Bangladesh missions in Riyadh and Jeddah that they were sexually abused and physically and mentally tortured by their Saudi employers.
The employers used to force them to do excessive and denied them enough food and rest.
Another common complaint was that their wages were in arrears for up to 10 months when they decided to leave for home unable to bear the tormented life in the KSA.
The victims also complained that their employers had the habit of boasting that ‘since they had bought us, they could do anything they just liked to.’
Naripokkho in a statement on Monday protested against the abuse, tortures and the repressions to which ‘our domestic workers’ were subjected by their Saudi employers.
It also protested over the government not taking the responsibility of ‘our domestic workers’.
Bangladeshi Ovhibashi Mohila Sramik Association Chairman Lily Jahan told New Age ‘our domestic workers’ who go to work abroad on visas arranged by relatives were more prone to becoming victims of abuse.
She said that the brokers who arranged the so called ‘relative visas’ usually sell the unsuspecting domestic workers.
National Domestic women workers Union general secretary Murshida Akter said that the government could in no way shirk the responsibility of providing protection to ‘our domestic workers’ as encouraged them to seek overseas jobs.
She urged the government to ratify the ILO Convention 189 and make a law in its light to protect domestic workers’ rights at home and abroad.
WARBE Development Foundation director Jasiya Khatoon called it matter of ‘deep concern’ that ‘our domestic workers’ were coming back as victims of sexual abuse every day.
Expatriates welfare and overseas employment minister Nurul Islam, B Sc, said that his ministry received no complaints the victims until now.
‘If the victims lodge complaints we would take action,’ he told reporters at recent news conference. 

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