The High Court Division on Tuesday directed the government to submit a report in 30 days with separate lists of the country’s workers who became victims of physical, mental and sexual abuse or died while working in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the other countries.
The court in a ruling asked the authorities to submit the report providing the details of the harassments faced by the country’s workers while migrating, during transits and their stay abroad.
The authorities were also directed to provide other details including whether the victim workers faced further harassments during their repatriation and rehabilitation processes.
The respondents were asked to submit the report within 30 days.
The respondents include, secretaries of ministries of expatriate welfare and overseas employment and foreign affairs, the director general of Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training, chairman of Wage Earners Welfare Board and the president and the secretary of Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies.
A bench of Justice Syed Refaat Ahmad and Justice Farid Ahmed issued the directives after hearing public interest litigation writ petition of Mahfuzur Rahman Milon, executive director of Justice Watch Foundation.
The petitioner submitted that at least 250 housemaids had to come back to Bangladesh, mostly from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as victims of abuse.
In another ruling the bench asked the respondents to explain in two weeks why their failure to ensure safety of workers during migration, repatriation, rehabilitation and pay compensations or the reintegration of female victims of harassment, physical and mental torture and sexual abuse in Saudi Arabia and other countries would not be declared as ‘illegal and arbitrary’.
They respondents were also asked to explain why they would not be directed to take action against the recruiting agencies and the others associated with the processes of migration or irregularities tantamount to trafficking.
The other respondents include secretaries of the ministries of home, law, labour, social welfare and women and children affairs.
Petitioner himself appeared for the hearing while deputy attorney general Kazi Zinat Haque for the state.
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