Their safety above all else
Our economy has been built on the backs of our overseas workers
While it is encouraging to see that the number of women migrant workers to the Middle East has increased by 75% in the first five months of this year, given that we still haven’t found a solution to our workers’ abuse in the Gulf nations, any reason to celebrate this statistic quickly dissipates.
According to a recent report, as many as 10,000 workers from South Asia and Southeast Asia die in Gulf nations every year, with half of these deaths remaining unexplained.
Couple that with the allegations of gross worker abuse, and even torture in some instances, that we hear from the workers -- especially sexual exploitation of our female workers -- and it becomes readily apparent that with more women travelling to these destinations for work, we need to make sure that their safety and security will be of paramount importnace.
- Migrant worker shortage in Malaysia threatens industry
- Qatar to recruit construction workers from mid-2023
Bangladeshi embassies need to step up and work with the host countries so that any and all allegations can be investigated properly, while our foreign bureaucracy also needs to keep in touch with our migrant population and set up safety nets so that our overseas workers have something to fall back on in the case of their situations becoming too dire.
To ensure the long-term safety of our overseas workers, an obvious start would be to crack down on local human traffickers as well and make sure no one falls for their traps.
Our economy has been built on the backs of our overseas workers. We owe it to them to ensure their safety.