Recently I went to Bangladesh Consulate in Dubai for a news related work. A conversation is going on with the officer in charge in the room of the labor wing. At that time a man brought a woman.
The official wants to know what he has to do to stop us. The helpless desire of the girl. He complained. Arrival in the Emirates on a tourist (visit) visa. Being cheated by brokers. Forced into prostitution. The girl informed about the fact that she ran away after becoming unbearable due to physical abuse. This time, he only asked to return to the country.
Due to the validity of the visit visa, it is possible to return by air ticket. The official said so. But who will provide financial support at this time – this was the biggest question in front of him!
A master’s student girl from Chittagong was planning to go abroad for some time to restore her family’s finances. Find an expat in Sharjah, UAE through a known friend. They talk through text messages and mobile phones. The girl was informed that work arrangements have been made for her in shopping malls and five-star hotels in Dubai-Sharjah. If you get the visa in a few weeks, you will have to fly abroad. The person will bear the entire cost. On further inquiry, the girl comes to know that the gang is planning to use her in immoral activities in the name of giving work.
Another girl from Bhola of Barisal came to Dubai in the same trap. The girl went to Dubai hoping to change her fortune by spending 1 lakh 90 thousand rupees on the sale of her elder brother’s motorcycle. But as the weeks went by, the reality caught up with him. He alleged that he had to face the cruel reality after leaving the airport. kept in a secret room. Where physical abuse continues for four or five days. Forced to do immoral work. After a few days, the girl ran away from there to save her life.
One more such victim was reported from Dhaka. Before coming abroad, it is said that he will be given housework. But the reality is different. The girl was not at all ready for the work that was assigned to her. However, his name is involved in the unbearable life of exile. Her husband pleads with the local journalists to rescue him from the brokers. Although the person wants help in identifying ‘brother’. Later it became known, the real secret. If he wanted help in identifying his brother rather than his husband, he expected a quick solution. However, the girl was later rescued. The local administration rescued him with the help of Bangladesh Press Club UAE journalists.
Many who rushed to the Middle East hoping for a change of fortune like these four are now familiar with these stories. Those whose stories are coming forward are getting the opportunity to return to the country with the help of the local administration or the Bangladesh Mission. But the characters in the story who stay behind are just crying in silence. Some of these women who want to break the shackles of the family and live on their own are again trapped in the shackles of brokers in the diaspora.
UAE is a very safe country for women. For relevant reasons, women workers do not come to the Mission with many complaints. It is being said – but why women surrender so helpless? Why are they crying behind the scenes? Who gets this fraud trap? How did they step into this trap and get stuck in the broker’s net?
It is known that there are many attractive stories of brokers. Victimized women are coming at the hands of brokers. Shops, beauty parlors, salons, nursing jobs are shown to them. Stories of good pay, luxurious living are told. Some fall into the trap of love. That’s why women step into this trap without knowing it. The number of women who come to the Emirates by falling into such a trap is not less. Most of them entered the country on visit visas. The pain point is that getting their specific information is complicated due to the visit visa entry.
But there is a direct work visa for women workers in UAE. Just as women in the general category are getting the opportunity to come on the domestic worker, cleaner visa, the country also has extensive employment opportunities for educated and experienced women.
However, in addition to good institutional jobs, many Bangladeshi women have also established small and medium businesses in the country. However, the complexity of the male worker visa is still not over. However, the visa of Bangladeshi women workers was never stopped. Even the owner bears the entire visa related expenses of domestic workers. They cover visa process, cost of medical examination, identity card renewal and health insurance. Besides, the domestic workers enjoy all the government facilities from the owner. Women are also getting institutional workplace visas easily.
The officials of the two Bangladesh missions in the country have been confirming the matter. Being aware They are also expressing concern. Before that, let’s know some statistics about women workers in the outside world.
According to the statistics of the Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training, in the last 34 years, 11 lakh 76 thousand 520 women workers have gone legally from Bangladesh to various countries of the world. The highest number of women workers went to Saudi Arabia, 523 thousand 799 people, Jordan 194 thousand 675 people, United Arab Emirates 135 thousand 963 people and Oman 120 thousand 121 people.
70 thousand 970 Bangladeshi women workers have gone to different countries of the world till November this year. Most of the women workers went to the Middle East countries. First in the list is the name of Saudi Arabia. 65.78 percent women workers have gone to the country. Then Oman and Jordan.
As of November this year, 46 thousand 683 people in Saudi Arabia, 1 thousand 850 people in United Arab Emirates, 1 thousand 168 people in Kuwait, 6 thousand 424 people in Oman and 969 people in Qatar.
I was talking about fear. This apprehension belongs to the Bangladesh Mission itself. According to mission sources, women are sometimes detained in the country on charges of involvement in immoral activities. Some are in jail. Some are returning home after the legal process. Although this list is short, it is a big issue in the image of the country. These women are risking their safety by falling into temptation.
A senior officer of the mission was saying in the conversation that the victim had knowingly stepped on this path from some women’s country. After leaving the country, they endured for six months but were forced to flee after not being able to survive. After that mainly complaints came to the mission.
Another official of the mission said that there is an opportunity for verification of women seeking employment visa through legal means. They check. There is also a chance to block the visa if any error is found. But there is no opportunity to stop those who are crossing the country on visit visa. A more serious complaint is that some local women are entering the country on visit visas with Indian passports. The Mission has nothing to do with them.
BM Jamal Hossain, Consul General of the Bangladesh Consulate in Dubai, said: ‘Women activists do not get many complaints. Because UAE is very safe for women. Those working as domestic workers are fine. However, when complaints are received, arrangements are made to rescue the women victims and send them to the country. In addition, if there is a case under the local law, the mission also provides legal assistance.’
Meanwhile, the Abu Dhabi Bangladesh Embassy and Dubai Bangladesh Consulate in the country do not have a safe home for such victimized women workers. The official also does not see the need for a safe house at this point as the mission is taking electronic measures for the victims. However, the victimized women have the opportunity to complain when they return to the country. On returning home, one can apply for legal assistance to the DC and SP of the district. In that case, a written complaint must be made to the mission in advance, mentioning the address and passport information of the country. Victims have the opportunity to file a case in their police station with that complaint.
One such victim said, ‘I have been cheated. I don’t want anyone like me to fall into the hands of a scammer. Let anyone come here and be deceived by false promises.’
The complaint of this women activist was that thousands of such girls are constantly writing letters of their unspoken cries. But those complaint letters do not reach anywhere.
Based on the source of the woman’s complaint, I would like to say that the government should create awareness to protect women workers from fraud. Promotion should be increased at the rural level. Proper training should be provided. More importantly, individual and family awareness initiatives should be taken. Besides, women have to check more about work before going abroad. Only then women will become the big tool of our economy. Men also play an important role in the flow of remittances.
Author: General Secretary, Bangladesh Press Club, UAE