In the first week of the new year, 767 workers were sent back home
Saudi Arabia has deported another 132 Bangladeshi workers, including five women, on Tuesday night.
Two flights of Saudi Airlines — SV 804 and SV 802 — landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka at 11:20pm and 1:30am, respectively, with the workers, reports UNB.
In the first week of the new year, a total of 767 workers, including 40 women, have been sent back home by Saudi Arabia, said Shariful Hasan, who heads Brac’s Migration Programme.
Nur Begum, 40, who is among the deportees, said she had gone to Saudi Arabia in April last year and alleged that her employer used to torture her.
“I took shelter at the safe home of the Bangladesh Embassy in Saudi Arabia, where I was given food and money for my work,” she added.
Khadiza Begum, of Jessore, Shefali Begum of Narayanganj, Shilpi Khatun of Jhenaidah and Subarna Begum of Dhaka, who were sent back, said their situations were similar to Nur Begum’s.
Raus Sheikh, of Rajbari, was kept in the deportation camp in Saudi Arabia for two weeks. He said he had gone the Middle East country a year ago.
“The Saudi police arrested me when I was returning home from work,” he said.
Brac’s Shariful said nearly 1,200 female migrant workers returned from Saudi Arabia last year after suffering horrendous torture at the hands of their employers.
Nearly 60,000 male migrant workers were deported from the Middle East and Malaysia during this period — most of them returned empty-handed.
Until November last year, Bangladesh received 3,838 bodies of its migrant workers — the highest in 15 years.
Shariful told UNB that almost 60,000 male migrant workers were sent back in 2019 and nearly 30,000 came back from Saudi Arabia alone.
“Saudi police deported many Bangladeshi workers even though they had their Akama [permit] in order,” he said.
Meanwhile, Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmad on Sunday said the government plans to send more than 750,000 workers abroad this year.