• Tuesday, Sep 25, 2018
  • Last Update : 03:17 pm

Bring them home

  • Published at 10:40 am May 27th, 2018
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Photo: BIGSTOCK

How much longer must we be naïve about what goes on in Saudi Arabia in the name of domestic work? 

Every year, many Bangladeshis go to Saudi Arabia for work, lured by promises of a good life and good pay.

The reality, they find, is quite different.

In recent times, more and more women have travelled to KSA for work, only to find that they have been duped by unscrupulous middle-men, and sold into a life of captivity and torture.

Even at this very moment, many Bangladeshi women are living in captivity in Saudi Arabia, deprived of all their rights, and denied communication with the outside world.

And it is up to our government to put pressure on Saudi Arabia and bring these citizens home, safely.

The stories are as horrific as they get; one woman, Majeda Begum, recounted that she was held captive as soon as she landed in Riyadh -- she was confined to a dark room, fed a meagre diet of rice and salt only once a day, and physical abused throughout the day.

Earlier this year, more than a hundred female migrant workers returned from the KSA with stories of physical and sexual abuse at the hands of their employers.

This newspaper has reported extensively in recent days about the horrors inflicted on Bangladeshi workers, and about the syndicates who facilitate such human rights abuses.

How much longer must we be naïve about what goes on in Saudi Arabia in the name of domestic work? 

We need to prioritize on the safety and dignity of our workers in foreign lands, and rescue them when their rights are being violated.

The earnings of migrant workers are what enrich this country, and we have an obligation to protect them from abuse and exploitation -- let us not let them down.