Tortured in Saudi Arabia, another domestic worker returns with baby
In yet another incident of extreme torture, a 32-year-old Bangladeshi female worker has returned home from Saudi Arabia with her 6-month-old.
She landed at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on Tuesday. Due to policy reasons, The Daily Star is not publishing her name and photograph.
The woman alleged that she had been abused and tortured by her employer at the house she worked in Saudi Arabia, and that he is the father of her child.
Worried about how to return home with her child as she might be subjected to social stigma, the woman has taken shelter at the BRAC Learning Center in Dhaka's Ashkona, said Shariful Hasan, head of BRAC's migration program.
Sources at Dhaka airport said the woman's village home is in Brahmanbaria.
The woman left the country for Saudi Arabia in November 2019. She was tortured frequently since she started working in Saudi Arabia. At one point when she was pregnant, she was sent to jail and gave birth her baby boy there.
"No one in my family knows about it. I can't go back to my family with my child," an official of BRAC's migration program quoted the woman as saying.
Helpless after landing at Dhaka airport, the woman informed Armed Police Battalion there about her state. She was later handed over to the BRAC Migration Program.
"Such incidents are very unfortunate. This is another example of the extreme persecution of Bangladeshi women workers in Saudi Arabia," Shariful told The Daily Star.
He added that there should be proper investigation into these incidents, adding that the house where the woman went to work in Saudi Arabia and identity of her employer should be investigated. If necessary, DNA test should be done to ascertain the paternity of the child.
Shariful said their primary challenge is now to keep the baby healthy and support the woman. "Then we will try to get her to her village home."
Shariful said they have seen 12 such incidents before. "We tried to stand by their side. But we need to raise our voices and policymakers should play a responsible role in preventing such incidents in future."
According to BRAC's migration program, a woman from Belabo upazila in Narsingdi returned home from Saudi Arabia on March 26 with a child after losing psychological balance.
On April 2, another expatriate worker returned to Bangladesh from Saudi Arabia and left her eight-month-old at the Dhaka airport.
On February 24, another domestic worker was forced to return home from Oman with her four-month-old. Upon arrival at the airport, she told the Armed Police Battalion that the father of her child was an Omani citizen, and that she was handed over to Oman police when she became pregnant. The child was born at the Oman deportation camp.
Last year, on December 16, another female migrant worker was forced to return home from Oman with her three-month-old.