The Foreign Ministry reportedly will no longer allow Bangladeshi diplomats posted to Europe and America to take domestic helps with them after several diplomats were embroiled in controversy over allegations of torture and abuse.
A senior Foreign Ministry official, who declined to be named, said several incidents of torture of domestic helps involving Bangladeshi diplomats in the US had tarnished the country's image.
“We are not permitting diplomats going to Europe and the US for work to take domestic helps with them,” the official said, reports Bangla Tribune.
He said the ministry had also asked the diplomats to send back people they had taken with them to do household chores.
Another senior official said they had sought the public administration and finance ministries permission to hire cooks for the chiefs of Bangladesh missions as per the standards of the countries they are deployed in.
“We are yet to get approval,” the official said. “If we do not pay the workers in Europe or American scales, then there are chances of more legal actions.”
In June, two cases were filed against Bangladeshi diplomats by their domestic helps in New York.
The Foreign Ministry official said one of the reasons for such court cases was the current US government's tough stance on illegal migrants. “Plaintiffs of these cases are allowed to stay in the US as long as the cases are not disposed of,” the official added.
New York police arrested Bangladeshi Consulate General's Deputy Consul General Mohammad Shahedul Islam last month for allegedly torturing his domestic help. He was later transferred to Bangladesh's permanent mission to the UN.
Another domestic help brought similar allegations against Foreign Ministry official Hamid Rashid working at the UN headquarters.
In 2014, Bangladesh consul general in New York Monirul Islam was accused of torturing his domestic help. The case is still being heard by a US court.