As many as 35 Bangladeshi female migrants in Saudi Arabia have urged the government to bring them back home amid the extradition spree. In a video, the sobbing women were seen detained at an unknown place.
In the 45-second video, a worker said that they took shelter at a detention cell in Saudi Arabia. She said that they fled from their workplaces in the wake of inhuman torture by their employers.
She urged Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to rescue them from the situation. BRAC Migration Programme in Dhaka has confirmed the authenticity of the footage.
Head of the programme Shariful Hasan said, ''We are yet to get the details about the 35 workers. However, we have so far identified 13 workers in the video."
They are — Shazeda Begum, Khadija Begum, Dilara Begum, Mitu, Hazra Khatun, Shanti Akter, Zannati Ferdousi, Alo Akter, Shirin Akter, Monwara Begum, Zumur Begum, Shakina Begum and Ruma Begum.
Shariful Hasan said, "We have been requesting Bangladesh government for long to talk to the Saudi authorities to allow female migrant workers use of mobile phones. Then they will be able to contact their family and authorities concerned if they face any kind of torture at their workplaces."
In a similar video, another Bangladeshi domestic worker Husna Begum made an emotional appeal to the government to bring her back home. Husna was scheduled to return home on Wednesday night.
The government drew huge flaws as her video went viral on social media.
Bangladeshi delegation reaches KSA
Against the backdrop of recent protests against sending Bangladeshi female workers to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a five-member delegation of the Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Ministry of Bangladesh has already reached the Middle Eastern country.
The ministry Secretary Salim Reza is leading the team. A Joint Technical Committee meeting was scheduled to be held in Riyadh on Wednesday.
"We will raise existing issues including online recruitment system and the allegations raised by the female migrant workers,'' said Zahid Hossain, joint secretary of the Expatriates' Welfare Ministry and one of the members of the delegation.
The Bangladesh Ambassador in KSA, labour counsellor and other concerned officials from the embassy will join the meeting.
Bangladesh has been sending female migrant workers Saudi Arabia under a domestic workers' agreement signed between the two countries in 2015.
Since then, as many as three lakh female workers were sent to the Gulf country till October this year, says Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training data.
Of them, some 8,507 female workers were brought back home through safe home assistance, said ministry sources.
According to BRAC, a non-governmental organization working with Bangladeshi migration workers, 13 thousand female workers returned home from Saudi Arabia in the last four years.
In last year, a total of 1,353 female workers returned to Bangladesh owing to workplace issues. After returning to home, they complained about mental, physical and sexual abuse at their workplaces.