Rights body cautions Dhaka over sending women workers to Saudi Arabia
Dhaka: A global human rights body has cautioned Bangladesh against sending women workers, particularly as domestic help, to Saudi Arabia where it says they are abused by employers and are not covered by labour laws.
"It`s not the question if they will face abuse, but the question is when they will face it. Because I am sure that it`ll happen," said Nisha Varia, an ethnic Indian senior researcher of Human Rights Watch (HRW).
Following talks with a Saudi delegation in early April, Bangladesh`s expatriates` welfare minister said Saudi Arabia might hire 10,000 female domestic helps and the process would start in two months.
During the talks Sanarcom and Baira - associations of recruiting agencies of Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh - signed a memorandum of understanding for workers` protection.
Varia, who has been working at the Women`s Rights Division of the HRW for eight years, says domestic helps are not covered in Saudi labour law.
They have neither weekly holidays nor any limit to working hours. Many have to work 18 hours a day for months or even years without a break.
"Sometimes, they`re locked inside the house, and they cannot to go out and contact their families," she told The Daily Star newspaper.
"While such abuses may happen in any country, what we have seen in Saudi Arabia is that it`s very rare for the employers to get punished, even when they confess to abusing."
For years, she says, workers from Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Nepal and the Philippines faced many problems including non-payments for even years. Also very common are physical and sexual abuse.
An international relations graduate from Columbia University who has worked on migrant domestic workers in Asia, Varia said it was the right of women to get job and even go abroad. But the government should provide proper training before they go.
Download the all new Zee News app for Android and iOS to stay up to date with latest headlines and news stories in Politics, Entertainment, Sports, Technology, Business and much more from India and around the world.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- DNA: Exiled Kashmiri Pandits share their heart wrenching stories
- Basic ideals of Constitution are in danger: Sonia Gandhi
- PM Modi greets nation on occasion of first Constitution Day
- Manjula Vaghela's journey: From rag picker to head of a firm with Rs 1 cr turnover!
- Indian Army faces shortage of field firing ranges in J&K
- Woman commits suicide after heated discussion with husband over Aamir Khan's intolerance remark
- Intolerance issue: Those attacking me are only proving my point, says Aamir Khan – Read full statement
- Setback to Kejriwal-led AAP as MLA Akhilesh Tripathi arrested in riot case
- 10 interesting facts about Constitution which every Indian must know
- See pic: Genelia marks son's birthday!