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    » 02/19/2016, 11.58

    BANGLADESH - SAUDI ARABIA

    "Slave" workers in Saudi Arabia: We want to go home, enough ill-treatment

    Sumon Corraya

    Last year Dhaka and Riyadh signed an agreement to send 120 thousand workers to Arabia. In 2015, 20,952 women left for Arabia, but many have already returned. They recounted stories of abuse and threats, domestic slaves by day, sex slaves by night. Saudi recruiter: "We love Bangladeshi women because they are Muslim and wear a headscarf."

    Dhaka (AsiaNews) - Thousands of Bangladeshi migrant women who travelled to the Saudi kingdom in search of work now want to return to the country of origin because of continuing harassment they suffer. Many of them have already returned and denounced the slave-like working conditions to which they were subjected by day as maids in the house, and that at night they were forced to satisfy the sexual desires of male employers and employees.

    Bangladesh suspended the sending of women workers to Saudi Arabia for seven years, allowing only men to migrate. But last year the Dhaka authorities have signed an agreement that also provides for the migration of women. They are educated in the country of origin, where the government has opened 26 centers for the professional training of maids and servants. Then they leave for the Middle Eastern countries, where, however, many suffer threats and sexual abuse.

    The agreement between the two governments is to send 120 thousand Bangladeshi women in the coming years. In 2015 there were 20,952 migrant workers, but many of them have already returned. Monira Akter (not her real name) is one of them and she told AsiaNews: "I followed the training course organized by the government to learn how to carry out domestic chores, but I could not do my job properly because my employer wanted to force me to have sex. " "I did not go there to sell my body – she complains - I emigrated to raise money for my family."

    The woman says she knows five other workers who have suffered the same fate. Another victim of this exploitation reveals: "My master treated me badly, he did not allow me to call in Bangladesh and so I came back."

    Abdul Aziz, a Saudi who recruits women in Bangladesh, admits: "We love the Bangladeshi workers because they are Muslim and wear the burka [the full veil that leaves only the eyes uncovered, ed]."

    Rosaline Costa, Catholic activist, said: "It is not difficult to understand why women do not want to go to Saudi Arabia, when you consider the way they are exploited by employers: by day slaves in the house, sex slaves at night" .

    The activist believes that the recently approved provision, to allow a male relative to accompany workers as a "guardian" is insufficient. “They have no way - he says – to help their relatives. People are helpless and without legal protection, since their passport and airline ticket are withdrawn and they do not know where to seek help if they have problems at night".

    She concludes: "Given the recent news of exploitation, the relatives of the workers no longer want to allow their departure, if it means that almost all of them will be forced to be sex slaves for the employer and for his male employees."

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    See also

    17/03/2012 SAUDI ARABIA - PHILIPPINES
    Saudi Arabia, 70% of Filipino domestic workers suffer physical and psychological violence
    Revealed by research of the Committee on Overseas Workers Welfare. The cases of rape suffered by Filipino young people are on the agenda. To avoid an increase in wages, the government of Riyadh bans unskilled workers from the Philippines and Indonesia.

    19/02/2007 SAUDI ARABIA
    Children condemned to death and adults detained for years without charge
    A Human Rights Watch commission conducted an official mission to Saudi Arabia and found that defendants and detainees suffered severe human rights violations. Trials are held behind closed doors and defendants have few rights. Women are subjected to constant male guardianship. Meanwhile migrant workers face a tough situation.

    13/11/2004 MIDDLE EAST
    The difficult situation of domestic helpers in the Gulf
    They are mostly Asian and Christian, abused, victims of violence and lacking in legal protection. Now their plight is on governments' agenda.

    11/02/2011 SRI LANKA
    Religious sisters: government ineffective on violence against migrant women
    Age raised from 18 to 21 years. But some religious are convinced that the law is useless in the face of over 4 thousand complaints of abuse, violence and torture recorded in 2009 alone by the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment.

    24/04/2006 SAUDI ARABIA
    Imprisoned and exiled for denouncing man who raped her

    Isma Mahmood, of Pakistani parents, reported a man who raped her in Medina. She was chained for six months in jail and then expelled from the country. The perpetrator, a Saudi man, got away scot-free.





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    Silence shrouds 50th anniversary of Cultural Revolution in China and in the West

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    The bloody campaign launched by Mao Zedong killed nearly 2 million people and sent  a further 4 million to concentration camps. Every Chinese has been marked by fear. But today, no memorial service has been planned and no newspaper article has appeared. The Party’s internal struggles and Xi Jinping’s fear of ending up like the USSR. Even today, as then, there are those in Europe who keep quiet and laud the myth of China. Many are predicting a return to the "great chaos".

     


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