Friday, January 18, 2019 | ePaper

334 abused maids return home since May

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Staff Reporter  :
About 334 Bangladeshi maids have retuned home from Saudi Arabia since May this year after being abused, and exploited by their employers in the oil-rich Gulf nation.
In the latest episode, 34 female migrant workers arrived Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport by two flights of Air Arabia and Saudi Airlines on Saturday night.
They returned home with the help of Bangladesh Embassy in Jeddah and non-governmental organization BRAC, officials said.
Expatriate Welfare Desk of the Airport confirmed their arrival. They are sent back to home from safe home run by Bangladesh embassy in Saudi Arabia. 
"Bangladeshi women workers continue to return home being abused and mistreated by their employers in Saudi Arabia," Shariful Hasan, Head of BRAC's Migration Programme told The New Nation yesterday. He said that most of them faced sexual, physical harassment and non-payment of wages. Even they were forced to work 17 to 18 hours a day without rest days.  
"Bangladeshi maids went to Saudi Arabia seeking fortune. But they retuned home empty handed," Shariful Hasan said.
Hundreds of thousands of Bangladeshi women been to go to the Middle East since 2015 in search of ways to support their families in Bangladesh.
Around 5,000 of them returned home in the last three years after facing abuse and torture in the hands of their employers.
"Bangladeshi maids fell victim of abuse and exploitation in Saudi Arabia due to lack of training and monitoring by the embassy officials and recruiting agencies," Dr Tasneem Siddiqui, a migration expert told The New Nation.
She said the government must ensure security of the Bangladeshi female workers so that their dignity is protected.
"Their rights and dignity must be protected to uphold image of the nation. Saudi Government should also take the responsibility to ensure dignity and rights of the Bangladeshi female workers," she added.  
"Complaints made by them are not always true. Many escaped from their workplaces and lodged false allegation against their employers only to return home," an official of the Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment told The New Nation on condition of anonymity.
According to the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training, the number of migrant female workers was 12.19 lakh in 2017. Most of them worked in the oil-rich Gulf states.

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