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Tortured teenage returnee handed back to uncle after treatment

  • Published at 10:09 pm November 19th, 2018
web-Bangladeshi Migrant Workers Abroad

The victim said she had worked without any trouble for the first three months abroad, but later the employer started sexually abusing her

An orphaned teenage girl, who returned from Jordan after being violated by her employers, has been handed back to her uncle after a month of treatment at a mental hospital on Monday.

The Armed Police Battalion (APBn) at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport— who rescued the girl in October— said she was now mentally and physically fit.

The girl has been handed over to her uncle Abu Taleb. 

Abdur Rahman, additional superintendent of police at the APBn, said: “The victim has been provided with treatment for one month, and she is mentally sound and physically fit now. We handed her over to her uncle around 4pm.”  

He added that officials of the Brac Migration Program were present at the time of handover.

According to the Expatriates’ Welfare Desk at the airport, the 15-year-old’s passport says she is 27, and she was sent to Jordan as housemaid through registered recruiting agency MH International on June 12, 2017. 

The victim said she had worked without any trouble for the first three months abroad, but later the employer started sexually abusing her. Eventually, the employer’s son and son-in-law also took advantage of her. 

According to Brac, the victim returned to the country alone, physically unfit and mentally broken, after failing to endure the torture at the hands of her employers. 

“Officials of the Brac Migration Program took her to one of the organization’s safe houses at first, but she was later sent to Kurmitola General Hospital after she attempted suicide. She attempted to kill herself two more times at the hospital,” said Shariful Hasan, head of the Brac Migration Program.

“Finally, she was admitted to National Institute of Mental Health and Hospital (NIMHH) in Dhaka’s Shyamoli for better treatment,” he added. 

Brac Migration Program Spokesperson Al Amin said: “She was released from NIMHH after a month of intensive care and treatment. Brac also provided her with family counseling. She is now okay and has agreed to go home.” 

“She left Dhaka with her foster uncle at 6pm,” he told the Dhaka Tribune. 

The victim— hailing from Raniganj union in Jagannathpur upazila of Sunamganj—lost her parents at an early age and was raised by a distant uncle, Brac officials said. 

Jagannathpur UNO Mahfuzul Alam Masum said the local administration has spoken to the victim’s family and taken initiative to support her. “We are looking at how to rehabilitate her here while addressing social stigma. We will arrange training and employment opportunities for the victim.”