Last week, police rescued a 12-year-old domestic help, Sweety, from her employer’s house in the capital’s Segunbagicha area and admitted her to the DMCH in a critical condition. The hapless girl was frequently tortured by her employers, a brute couple, during the last nine months she had been employed in that house. She informed police about her ordeal telling that the brutes used to torture her giving electric shock, hitting her on knees, legs, back and hands with kitchen appliances. They even applied pepper on her eyes and secret parts of her body.
However, this is not an isolated incident; rather hundreds of similar cases occurred throughout the country. As per press reports, domestic helps not only face physical torture, but they also face sexual harassment by their employers. These incidents are on an alarming rise amid the Covid-19 pandemic which has created unrest among the families leading to rising incidents of violence against domestic workers. In some cases, the perpetrators are sued, but in most cases they evade punishment by utilising their power and social influence. The issues are also settled outside the courts by threatening the families of the victims and bribing the members of law-enforcement agencies.
The government should immediately formulate a law on the basis of the policy in a bid to curb the indiscriminate abuse of domestic workers. Above all, the law enforcement agencies must have to increase their vigilance for strict enforcement of law.