When dreams are shattered


FOUR underage Bangladeshi girls forced into prostitution have recently been rescued by police from a night-club of Deira city in Dubai. The victims, aged between 16 and 17, were taken to the Gulf Arab country last year to work as domestic helps in Al Muraqabbat. Gulf News reported that police raided the night-club and found 19 women and five procurers, aged 20 to 39.  Police said all the women were working as dancers and prostitutes and four of them were under the age of 18. The defendants had brought the victims into the country using passports that showed their ages as much older, added the police. One 17-year-old victim said she agreed to come to Dubai to help support her family at home. She said that a man arranged her passport and paid her money to travel to Dubai, where she was taken to a house with other girls. Four days after arriving in the country, they took the girls to the night-club and told them to work as dancers.
The above news simply exposes the poor economic condition of the girls who went there only for changing their fate by earning some money with their hard labour. But their dream turned into nightmare due to poor monitoring of the authorities concerned at home and negligence of our High Commissions and Embassies abroad. A Transparency International Bangladesh research had found that around 90 per cent of Bangladeshi female workers were becoming victims of abuse and corruption when going abroad.  Commonly we see that, most of the female domestic workers who have been sent to Jordan, UAE, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar and specially Saudi Arabia did not get their promised jobs; instead they were subjected to intense physical abuse and mental torture.
We know the official figure of migrant women workers is certainly much lower than actual number of Bangladeshi women who have gone abroad for work. And that has happened due to trafficking. Around 60 per cent women go abroad in connivance with illegal agents or traffickers. It is very painful to us when we see teen-agers are now also trafficked abroad for prostitution. The government must not stay inactive in such a situation.