Domestic workers of the country continues to return home from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as victims of sexual abuse, torture and non-payment of wages.
They return after short stays at safe homes run by the Bangladesh embassy in Riyadh and Jeddah, Wage Earners’ Welfare Board officials told New Age.
At the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, Welfare Desk personnel receive the workers on their return from the KSA, Jordan, Oman and the other Middle East countries.
But an overwhelming majority of housemaids return from the KSA as victims of abuse.
Welfare Desk assistant director Tanvir Hossain told New Age on Friday that on Thursday the desk received 41 housemaids repatriated from the KSA.
He said that the 41 housemaids returned with ‘exit passes’ from the Bangladesh missions in Riyadh and Jeddah as the employers did not return passports to them.
He, however, said that though there was no dependable statistics of the housemaids who came back but they were returning every day.
According to BRAC Migration Programme since May at least 800 housemaids returned from the KSA as victims of abuse.
BRAC Migration programme head Shariful Hasan demanded immediate steps from the authorities to ensure that no other housemaid of this country had to return as victims of abuse.
He said that he never heard that Saudi employers were ever punished for their offences.
Victim Ranu Begum on return from the KSA on Thursday was admitted to the One Stop Crisis Centre of Dhaka Medical College Hospital for treatment.
Her husband Mizanur Rahman told New Age that Ranu had gone to Saudi Arabia about 13 months ago and after landing there she became a cruel victim of abuse and torture.
‘My wife’s left arm has been broken by her Saudi employer who did not pay the wages for her 13 months’ hard work,’ said Mizan.
‘Ranu told me that the employer used to say that he had bought her from Bangladesh,’ he said.
He said that he lodged a complaint at BMET office in January and she was repatriated on September 13.
‘I want justice and compensation,’ he said in his fervent appeal to Bangladesh government.
Mithu, one of the 65 housemaids who returned to Bangladesh from the KSA on the same flight of Etihad Airways on Thursday told New Age that she was recruited for a house where 10 males lived.
Mithu said she escaped and took shelter at Bangladesh embassy following abuse and torture by the 10 hard core offenders.
When asked, migrant rights campaigner and WARBE Development Foundation chairman Syed Saiful Haque told New Age that the Wage Earners Welfare Board should compensate all the victims of abuse on their return to Bangladesh.
He said deals made by ‘our government in secrecy’ creates scope for the Saudi employers to deny wages to the housemaids saying they had been bought.
He said that the government owes the nation a thorough explanation.
According to Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training, over two lakh female workers had been sent to work in the KSA since 2015.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Country