‘S Arabia to take steps for female workers’ safety’

3 December, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment secretary Md Salim Reza on Monday said authorities in Saudi Arabia have assured that they will take necessary steps to ensure the safety of Bangladeshi female workers in their country, reports UNB.

He came up with the remark while speaking at a press briefing at Probashi Kallyan Bhaban in the capital.

Reza said the third joint technical committee meeting between the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment and Saudi Ministry of Labour and Social Development was held in Riyadh on November 27.

The meeting decided to launch an IT platform ‘MUSANED’ where female workers’ addresses, full contact information of Bangladeshi and Saudi recruiting agencies, changed information of recruiters, female workers’ arrival dates and other related information will be preserved.

The secretary also said setting up an ‘Approval Window’ at MUSANED system of Bangladesh Embassy in Saudi Arabia will also be considered.

Police will not hand over the female workers to their recruiters if they escape, said Reza adding that Bangladesh and Saudi recruiting agencies will take the responsibility of the female workers during their stay in Saudi Arabia.

Recruiting agencies will arrange residential and other facilities for the workers awaiting repatriation, he said.

The agencies concerned will inform the Bangladesh Embassy and Saudi Labour Ministry when the working period of female workers will end.

If the workers want to continue work after the expiry of their contracts, they have to renew the deed and that should be approved by the Bangladesh Embassy. The agencies concerned will preserve the updated information in MUSANED.

If any female worker falls in trouble, Saudi Department of Protection and Support will bring the issue to the notice of the Saudi authorities.

Signing a general agreement between Saudi Arabia and Bangladeshi labour welfare wing concerned was also discussed at the meeting.  Both the countries promised to work together for stopping visa business, he added.

Discussions were also held on easing case filing system with the Saudi Labour Court, and Saudi authorities will inform the embassies soon in this regard, Secretary Reza said.

In the last four years, over 5,000 Bangladeshi women have returned from Saudi Arabia, bringing allegations of torture against their Saudi employers.

Only 1,500 women have come back from Saudi Arabia in 2018, according to Brac Migration Centre.