Govt must not facilitate girls trafficking20 February 2015 Editorial Desk
The government move to send housemaids to Saudi Arabia has come under severe scrutiny on moral as well as our socio-cultural values. The breaking of the news that the kingdom will recruit workers from Bangladesh and an official delegation recently visited Dhaka to that end is a highly positive development. It clearly showed an end to an impasse that slowed down recruitment of Bangladeshi workers since 2008. Reports said the Saudi delegation has also signed an agreement to recruit 10,000 housemaids at a mere per month salary of 800 Saudi Riyals and this recruitment will continue initially for a year. It will be then followed by another agreement to recruit male workers. As we see most people are now quite confused as to why Saudi Arabia wants to start with the housemaids while from Bangladesh point of view, sending of male workers is on the high priority to find jobs to unemployed youths. We know that Saudi Arabia is running short of housemaids following suspension of sending female workers from Philippines and Indonesia to the kingdom. We also know they have taken the decision from bitter experience of exploitation of their nationals that include long working hours,
lack of leisure and leave, non-payment or irregular payment of wages and verbal, physical and even sexual abuse. Housemaids sent by Bangladesh to Hong Kong on government to government arrangement two years ago made similar complaints and most of them are reportedly back home to avoid serving as under cover sex slaves in household jobs. We also know that Philippine and Indonesia earlier stopped sending their housemaids to Hong Kong acting on widespread reports of abuse.
It is not job creation to officially allowing girl trafficking and that is our government is doing shameless only to earn foreign exchange for the luxurious life style of those in powers. Any responsible and dignified government will show ability to emphasize urgent need of creating jobs for women. We have not achieved independence to encourage slave trade or sell our girls for prostitution to put it bluntly. Our embassy people abroad simply do not care about our boys, and girls working in bonded slavish condition abroad may totally remain far out of their attention. Meanwhile, the government we have, takes credit for the foreign remittance we receive without any guilty feeling.
We are clearly against sending our girls abroad on job tickets to earn foreign currency for the luxury of the rich while these simple minded nice girls are abused in every way. The government has to prove competence to create jobs for girls on a priority basis. It is not unknown that a large number of our girls are being used as prostitutes in Pakistan and India. We want our government to be aware of that we are a respectable nation and we are anxious to protect the dignity of our girls.