Two minors engaged in forced labour in Dubai have been rescued by Bangladesh National Women Lawyers' Association (BNWLA).
They were identified as brothers Hridoy, 14, and Jahid Hasan Jibon, 12, hailing from Laksam upazila in Cumilla. They were handed over to their parents at BNWLA office in the capital's Agargaon yesterday.
Their maternal uncle Mannan took the brothers to Dubai four years ago through family visa, claiming they were his sons. After arriving in Dubai, they were forced to work in a bicycle garage.
“My uncle used to beat us without any reason,” Hridoy told The Daily Star, adding that they worked from 7am to 11pm daily to repair bicycles.
Hridoy's mother, Shirin said she had very little contact with their sons. “My sons always complained and wanted to return to their hometown,” she added.
A year back, a policeman noticed Hridoy and Jibon working in the garage. He rescued them and sent them to a shelter home in Abu Dhabi.
Police also arrested Mannan, who is now in Dubai jail.
The shelter home contacted BNWLA to find the parents, providing the cell phone number of their mother taken from the boys. The brothers were in the shelter home for eight months, before returning to Dhaka.
“In one year, we have received 55 cases to rescue people,” Advocate Towhida Khondker, director of BNWLA, said, adding that these included cases of a number of women, who were taken to India and were forced to live and work in brothels.
President of BNWLA Advocate Fawzia Karim Firoze said, “We often find that the perpetrators are within the family. This is challenging.”