While Bangladesh benefits greatly from the hard-earned money sent home by our migrant workers, with it being one of the biggest sources of foreign currency, we have not done enough in protecting them and their rights abroad.
Thousands of Bangladeshis die in the Middle East every year. Every year, more and more families receive the dead bodies of these workers, who have been mistreated and overworked by their employers abroad.
It is no secret that people, desperate for opportunities to provide for their families, take the long journey into the Middle East so that they are able to send money back.
But at what cost?
Some of these deaths come at the hands of severely adverse working environments, poor living conditions, and excessive workloads.
Is it any surprise that 94% of these deaths are caused by heart attacks and strokes caused by mental stress?
We have to make sure that we give our workers as much as they give us. The Bangladeshi authorities abroad must be there to protect their rights, and to not allow employers to treat them like animals.
Their experience is a subhuman one. No one deserves to be treated this way, and no family deserves to be reunited with their young sons and daughters in body bags.
As it stands, there is no accountability. The people responsible for the torturous nature of the migrants’ existences must also be punished, and they must realise that basic human rights are integral for any individual.
No more can we allow such brutalities to go on.