Stop Sending Domestic Workers to Saudi Arabia Unless Ensuring Protection

Rights activists and returnee female migrants on Thursday urged the government not to send women workers to Saudi Arabia until and unless ensuring their workplaces protection.

They said women migrant workers are not the money making machine. So the authority should give priority to their interests.

The rights campaigners demanded for active role of Bangladesh Embassy in Riyadh to take legal action against the offender employers.   

The employers also have to take all responsibilities of the pregnant women workers and their children who were raped at workplaces.    

The activists made their demands at a press conference at the National Press Club in the city, organized Bangladesh Civil Society for Migration.

Returnee migrants, Sharmin, Mousami, Kulsum and Lata, narrated their experiences of suffering in the Saudi Arabia. Excessive works, low wages, lack of foods and physical abuses they had to face in the workplaces.

Manusher Jonno Foundation director Rina Roy said if it is not possible to fulfill their safety, the government has to think whether they will send women worker or not to Saudi.

Since January, about 1000 women domestic helps came back home following workplaces exploitation.

A good number of women are waiting for coming home at the Embassy’s safe home and immigration camp in the Arab country, according to the press statement.

But the government doesn’t want to acknowledge the high figure of victim women.

Indonesia and Philippines protest against any torture on their domestic helps in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

The countries also reduced sending women workers to the kingdom, the statement said.

After that the KSA decided to hire workers from Bangladesh. About 0.2 million women workers went to the oil-rich country since singing female workers recruitment deal in 2015.

Sumaiya Islam, director of Bangladeshi Ovhibashi Mohila Sramik Association said women workers are not getting due facilities in Saudi Arabia.

Standard wages, working hour, overtime, food and accommodation were mentioned in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signed between Dhaka and Riyadh, she added.

Syed Saiful Haque, chairman of WARBE Development Foundation  said the government should give financial and others necessary supports to the victim women workers.

Shariful Islam Hasan, programme head of Migration of BRAC,  Faruque Ahmed, secretary general, WARBE DF, RMMRU director Marina Sultan , among others were present at the programme.