110 female migrants return empty-handed from Saudi Arabia | The Daily Star
03:09 AM, September 27, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:10 AM, September 27, 2019

110 female migrants return empty-handed from Saudi Arabia

A total of 110 female migrant workers returned empty-handed from Saudi Arabia on August 26.

Around 38 of them were forced to return after facing physical and sexual torture, while 48 came back home as they were not paid their salaries on a regular basis.

The Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment yesterday came up with the statistics and an explanation for it at a parliamentary standing committee meeting held at the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban.

In the report, the ministry identified 11 reasons for which the female migrant workers were forced to return.

The reasons include physical and sexual torture, unpaid salaries, no provision of adequate food or leave, “selling” them to another employer (kafil), sickness and/or being forced to work in several houses instead of one, family reasons, and the expiry of visa and/or work contract.

The committee is to hold discussions on the report at its next meeting.

According to the report, of the 110 female workers, 23 were forced to return as they alleged that they were not provided enough food by their employers, while seven others alleged that they were forced to work in more than one house. 

Four female workers said they came back as they were not given their due leaves, and one worker alleged that she was “sold” to another employer.

Ten migrant workers said they were forced to return as they fell sick.

Another worker said she opted to return for family reasons, while eight of them returned because of expired visas. Sixteen female migrant workers said they returned as their two-year long contracts ended and two returned for other reasons. 

The ministry also identified, among others, inability to adapt to new environment, culture and food, language barrier, excessive workload, lack of skills, and homesickness as some other reasons behind the return of female migrant workers from different countries, especially those employed as domestic help in the Middle East.  

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