Literacy of communications, understanding of their job would be tested before sending them to work
The move to properly train domestic helps comes amidst several incidents of women expatriate workers being deported from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with many reports of Bangladeshi maids being subject to mental and physical torture there.
Talking to Dhaka Tribune on Wednesday, Additional Secretary of the Migration Welfare wing of the Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment, Dr Ahmed Munirus Saleheen, said the government is undertaking a number of measures by providing better training and orientation facilities to ensure secure workplaces for female domestic workers in Saudi Arabia.
Replying to all the allegations that KSA employees torture Bangladeshi domestic helps, the official quoting the KSA authority said that Saudi Arabia government informed that such news are nothing but hoaxes and are being spread to give a bad name to the country.
Saleheen said: “KSA recruits domestic workers from other countries as well, for example, the Philippines, Indonesia and Nepal, but none except the Bangladeshis came up with such complaints.”
According to the Brac Migration Programme around 13,000 female workers returned from Saudi Arabia in the last four years.
Concern about real issues?
Saleheen, said: “Like others, the ministry is also equally concerned. The destination country is also equally worried. They are worried as they are thinking they are being blamed for nothing.”
“KSA authorities said domestic workers recruited from Bangladesh are not well trained and well oriented, thus with all lacking the domestic workers tend to return back to Bangladesh as they cannot adapt to a fast-paced country like KSA,” he added.
Taking all the things into their cognizance, the ministry has already started taking measures to properly address the matter,” the official said.
He said: “Several measures have been taken, like extending the training period of the aspirants before going abroad. Currently, they are taking a one-month training before departure. We are thinking of making it a one-and-a-half-month long training.”
The rules of sending women workers would be revised accordingly and no domestic workers would be allowed to go without proper training and certification, he added.
The rules were set in 2007 by the Bangladesh government over sending women abroad as expatriate workers.
Asked, what changes are coming possibly, he said that the government has just initiated the process. It is difficult to make a comment now.
“But we will work to amend the rules adopting current situations there,” he said.
Their literacy in communication and understanding of their jobs would be tested before sending them to work, he added.
The official also said that zero tolerance would be shown towards unconventional recruitment of the workers bypassing the government channel.