Returnee woman migrants abused abroad struggle to lead normal life

Female workers on return as victims of sexual abuse and non-payment of wages struggle hard to get back to normal life.
Their life is made unbearable by burdens of loans, separation, family conflicts, extra marital issues, social exclusion as well as conflicts over lands and assets.
Migration experts told New Age that the government had the constitutional obligation to ensure female workers’ protection in destination countries.
On August 28, a female worker on return from Jordan gave birth to a baby girl at Shingrai Upazila Health Complex in Manikganj.
Her father, who pulls rickshaw to earn livelihood, told local journalists that his family was asked to leave his ancestral village with his spinster daughter.
WARBE Development Foundation director Jasiya Khatoon described such cruel treatment of female migrants despite their contributions to the national economy as well as their parents and families.
‘The social cost of migration can’t be calculated in money terms,’ she said.
Hague based Bangladeshi diaspora forum BASUG’ chairman Bikash Chowdhury Barua told New Age, female migrants return home often mentally, physically and economically devastated, facing problems at home and in the society.
The traditional society does not treat them with the respect and dignity they deserve, and they face the crisis all alone as the government lacked the policy to address these grave issues, he said.
Bikash said that absence of institutionalized system to redress their grievances or even counseling them make things difficult for the returnee female migrants.
He said that the government had the obligation to put in place institutionalized reintegration service so that the migrants, particularly the females could access social, psychological and economic support to enable them to reintegrate in the society.
Halima Begum of West Sheikhdi, Dania, Jatrabari in the capital, returned from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on June 10, 2016 as victim of abuse. She migrated to the KSA as a housemaid on September 25, 2015 with clearance from Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training.
She worked for five months without any wage and her crisis began after her employer dumped her at Saudi agency office where she was detained for three months and was deported.
Lina Akhter of Munshiganj narrated a more harrowing story of torture and non-payment of wages by employer.
‘I cannot afford food for my family and myself and my only son’s school education came to abrupt end,’ said Lina.
She said that she cannot afford the expenses for the operation of leg that suffered serious injuries in a road accident in Beirut.
She said that despite her appeals neither the government nor anyone else came to her rescue.
Many others narrated similar stories.


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