The Human Rights Watch (HRW) has asked the government authorities to improve protection for its domestic workers migrating to the Middle Eastern countries.
‘Bangladesh has become an outlier in Asia for actively seeking employment of domestic workers in the Middle East but failing to protect their rights adequately and setting low salaries,’ HRW said in a statement on Thursday.
Dhaka is currently hosting the Global Forum on Migration and Development, 2016, a meeting of governments to share best practices and collaborate on migration policy.
‘Bangladesh should seek the best opportunities for its workers but not at the cost of leaving them without meaningful protections,’ said HRW’s Middle East women’s rights researcher Rothna Begum as quoted in the the statement issued from it London office on Thursday.
In recent years, Bangladesh has increased recruitment of female domestic workers to the Middle East, including signing bilateral agreements with Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Hundreds of thousands of Bangladeshi women are in the Middle East, more than 100,000 of whom migrated for work from January to October 2016 alone, according to Bangladesh’s Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training.
‘While many employers of domestic workers respect their rights, other workers face serious abuse and exploitation, including physical abuse, non-payment of wages, and confiscation of passports to keep them from leaving,’ said the rights body.