Bangladesh shuts recruitment agencies after abuse claims in Saudi Arabia

Since 1991, some 300,000 Bangladeshi women have travelled to Saudi Arabia, according to the Dhaka government, mostly to work as household staff.

Published: 03rd December 2019 10:48 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd December 2019 10:48 PM   |  A+A-

human trafficking, abuse

For representational purposes

By AFP

DHAKA: Bangladesh said Tuesday that it has shut down 166 recruiting agencies hiring people to work in Saudi Arabia after a spate of sexual abuse and torture allegations at the hands of employers in the Gulf kingdom.

Since 1991, some 300,000 Bangladeshi women have travelled to Saudi Arabia, according to the Dhaka government, mostly to work as household staff.

But a string of them have returned to Bangladesh in recent months levelling allegations of sexual abuse and torture and even that recruiters had sold them as sex slaves.

Last month videos secretly shot by Bangladeshi female workers were shared hundreds of thousands of times on social media and sparked protests across Bangladesh.

Government spokesman Munirus Saleheen said that the agencies that were shut down had failed to provide safeguards to the migrant workers and in some cases sent them back to their employers.

"Our campaign will continue," Saleheen told AFP.

Their closure followed talks between Bangladeshi and Saudi officials in Riyadh.

Both countries also decided to update an online database of the female workers to ensure their safety, a statement issued by the Bangladeshi expatriate welfare ministry said.

Saudi police have also agreed not to hand back any Bangladeshi woman who escaped from a Saudi employer to her workplace, it said.

The ministry also said that the Saudi Department of Protection and Support "will take prompt action if a female worker falls in danger".

Dhaka last week said it was also trying to repatriate another 32 women who filmed a joint distress call from a Saudi detention centre after they ran away from their employers.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp