Migrant rights activists and trade union leaders on Saturday joined housemaids who came back from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as victims of abuse in asking the government to immediately arrange their treatment and rehabilitation.
They said that the housemaids came back bearing physical torture and traumatized.
They raised the demands while speaking at a human chain followed by a rally in front of National Press Club organized by the National Domestic Women Workers Union.
‘Our housemaids are returning from the KSA as victims of abuse, torture and the employers’ refusal to provide food and payment of wages,’ said NDWWU general secretary Murshida Akter Naher.
‘It is the responsibility of the government to arrange their treatment, rehabilitation and payment of compensations,’ she said.
NDWWU president Amena Begum who led rally said that the government should pay heed to the demands ‘we are voicing as voters and citizens’.
‘We demand making a comprehensive labour law to ensure protection of all the workers, including the housemaids,’ she said.
She also asked the government to implement the Domestic Worker Protection and Welfare Policy adopted three years ago.
Trade union leader and NDWWU adviser Abul Hossain said that domestic workers were returning from the KSA as victims of abuse, exploitations and tortures should be rehabilitated by the government.
He said that the female migrants were getting no financial support from the Probashi Kalyan Bank and the Wage Earners Welfare Fund.
He requested the prime minister to make a labour law for equal protection of the rights of the workers and the owners to promote congenial industrial relations.
NDWWU adviser and Member of Central Committee at Workers Party of Bangladesh Mostafa Alamgir Ratan said that many Bangladeshi female workers were made pregnant in Saudi Arabia as victims of sexual abuse before they came back.
‘The government must take responsibility to rehabilitee these abused workers and the recruiting agencies which sent them must be brought to book and compelled to pay compensations to these victims, he said.
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