Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Thursday said recruiting agencies must register all the female workers, especially those going abroad as housemaids, to deal with the issues of exploitation or torture.
He said the agencies that send female workers abroad do not complete registration for the workers making it difficult to identify and locate if any incident happens at their places of work.“We’re making it (registration) mandatory for agencies,” the Foreign Minister told reporters while briefing them about Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s forthcoming official visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Referring to the demand of some quarters to stop sending female workers abroad, Dr Momen said they have not taken any decision yet but the government does not want to discriminate against women.
“I don’t know how the women will take it if their scope is curtailed,” said the minister mentioning that they are discussing the issue.
Dr Momen said around 6 lakh female workers are now abroad and around 2.70 lakh of them are in Saudi Arabia alone. “Most of the complaints come from Saudi Arabia.”
He claimed that the majority of the female workers now abroad are somehow managing well with a small percentage of them facing problems.
On Tuesday, Jatiya Party and Gonoforum MPs in parliament demanded that sending female manpower to Saudi Arabia for domestic works be stopped as they often face physical assault and harassment.In reply, Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmed said the government is very much worried about the matter.
During the question-answer session, Jatiya Party MPs KaziFiroz Rashid and Mujibul Huq Chunnu, and Gonoforum MP Sultan Muhammed Mansur Ahmed raised the issue separately.
“We’ve taken steps to send female workers after training on various protective measures. If it seems that this is completely impossible then we’ll think not to send any female worker [to KSA],” the minister said.