July 2, 2022

At least 23 Bangladeshi female workers who were abused by employers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia returned home on Monday.

The female workers arrived at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 3:40am by a schedule flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines.

Al Amin Noyon , migrant activist working for BRAC migration confirmed their arrival and said that that BRAC distributed gift packets including transport cost and foods to distressed female migrants.

Some of returnee female workers are identified as Hasi of Comilla, Sofia of Gaibandha, Gulshan Ara of Chuadanga, Parvin of Faridpur and Rabika Begum of Khulna.

Sofia who returned home within her four month of migration in Saudi Arabia said that she had to run away from her employer’s home due to physical tortures.

The Saudi police caught her and sent back home, she said.

Gulshan Ara said that her employer had tortured her and poured boiled water on her body.

BRAC officials said that they were recording the complaints of the returnee female migrants who were compelled to back home due to overload of works, tortures, abuses, denial of food and wages.

Assistant director at HSIA welfare desk Tanvir Hossain  said that Bangladesh embassy in Riyadh has not yet informed him about the repatriation of the female migrants.

According to published reports, 4,500 female workers working as housemaids in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia returned home in last three years being sexually abused, denied wages, physically tortured among other problems.

Wage Earner Welfare Board said that  at least 2,641 female workers returned home in 2017 alone while a good number were still waiting at safe homes and immigration camp in Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, some 1,672 workers came to the safe home in Jeddah between 2015 and 2017. Of them, 1,648 returned home until 2017, according to data available with WEWB.

Dhaka and Riyadh signed a deal on hiring domestic helps from Bangladesh in 2015 with a minimum monthly wage of 800 Saudi Riyals (equivalent to Tk 16,600) each.

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