The government has taken an initiative to formulate a policy to send female workers to Oman with a view to protecting them from various deceptions and physical tortures, said officials.
Bangladesh embassy in Muscat in a letter to expatriates' welfare and overseas employment ministry said that the policy would be finalised before July to ensure safe working atmosphere for the female workers in Oman.
The recruitment of Bangladeshi female workers to Oman has increased in last four years, according to Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training after source countries including Philippines and Indonesia stopped sending their maids to the country.
Over 48,000 female workers have gone to Oman since 1991. Of them, 4,102 female workers went in 2012 while 6,068 female workers went in 2013, 11,584 in 2014 and 16,980 in 2015, BMET data shows.
The letter which was sent on May 5 said that the formulation of the policy was necessary to protect the housemaids against untold sufferings and problems they faced in Oman.
Bangladeshi housemaids are being victimised of murder, rape and physical and mental tortures, and they often returns home from Oman empty-handed, said the letter.
Welcoming the initiative, rights activist Sumaia Islam said the policy is necessary to protect female migrants. Bangladeshi housemaids are harrassed in various ways in Oman, she claimed.
"The embassy in Oman has to engage the rights organisations which are working in Oman," Sumaia, director of Bangladesh Ovibasi Mahila Sramik, a rights organ isation which is working for protecting the female migrants.
She also noted that the embassy also needs to take into their account the best practices followed by other countries.
Under the policy, the age of the domestic female workers would be minimum 25 years and above, the minimum wage of the domestic workers has to be to 90 Oman Riyal which is equivalent to Tk 18,000.
The minimum salary or income of the sponsor or the employer has to be 700 Oman Riyals.
The mission informed that Indian embassy in Muscat also adopted a policy. According to a provision of the policy, an Omani employer has to give a guarantee of 1200 Omani Riyals as security money against each housemaid. If an employer violates the provision, the embassy will realise the amount from the employer.
Bangladesh Embassy in Muscat has already communicated with the ministry of Foreign Affairs in Oman saying that the policy would be adopted to ensure better services by the housemaids and ensure better management.
The mission requested ministry of Foreign Affairs in Oman to convey this information to all concerned authorities in the Sultanate of Oman.