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Dhaka Tribune

Female migrants allege wrongful termination of jobs in Hong Kong

Update : 25 Feb 2014, 07:57 PM

Around 15 female returned migrants alleged that their employment was terminated and they sent back home by their employers in Hong Kong.

“We will look into the cases individually. If there are no faults with the migrants, we will seek compensation from the agency,” Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain said.

The minister made the remark at a press conference at the Dhaka Reporters Unity yesterday after the women made the allegations.

Shikha Shastha Unnayan Karzakram (SHISUK), a rights-based migrants’ organisation, held the press conference. 

If the migrants were sent home due to their own faults, the ministry would do nothing, he added.

After taking intensive training for approximately months on the food, language, and culture of HK, the female migrants went there to work as housemaids.

Although they were promised a good working environment, suitable food and accommodation, and eight working hours daily, the promises were not fulfilled, they alleged.   

Each of the women took bank loans for Tk140,000 from Probashi Kallyan Bank, and the amount was to be paid back in installments from their monthly wages, they said.

Two months after arriving in HK, many of them were dismissed and sent back home. They are now unable to pay back the loans.

They women demanded compensation from the recruiting agencies and the waiving of their bank loans.   

“I spent Tk 200,000, including training for Tk 20,000, a bank loan of Tk140,000 and other costs, to go to HK,” said Jesmin Aktar ,one of the returnees.

Jesmin, hailing from Bhola, said she came from a poor family. Two of her brothers drive trolleys while another one studies.

She said she had to face various kinds of harassment, including physical torture.

“I was not given food when I was hungry,” she said.

Like her, Sohela Yeasmin Runa, Beauty Aktar, Faria Aktar Panna, ShaheenYeasmin, Shamsun Nahar, Sumi Aktar, Rupali Aktar, Sultana Pervin, Beauty Begum, Shumi Biswas, Baby Naznin, and Monowara Begum had to face similar incidents in Hong Kong.

Monowara Begum said: “We have made complaints to the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET), but they have done nothing for us.”

Shameem Ahmed Chowdhury Noman, proprietor of Sadia International, told the Dhaka Tribune that there were some flaws in the Memoranda of Understanding (MoU).

“We are trying to rectify the flaws and we are also working with the ministry on how to solve the problems,” he said.

Jabed Ahmed, additional director general of BMET, said: “A total of 350 female migrants have gone to HK. Of them, only nine workers returned.”

“The female workers have failed to survive there and it is their own fault,” he added. 

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