Ex-envoys for considering their security issues (The Financial Express (Bangladesh))

Expressing their concern over the latest move to send female workers to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), a number of former diplomats have suggested that government should take their security issues into consideration before sending the women there.
The diplomats who worked at Bangladesh embassy in Saudi Arabia also emphasised the need for exporting skilled female workers as they are more protected than housemaids.
They said this at a seminar on resumption of Saudi Arabian market for Bangladeshi manpower organised by the Bhorer Kagoj at its office in the city on Thursday.
They said female workers are mostly being regularly abused at their employers’ houses there and they don’t get the opportunity to communicate with the embassy to inform them about their condition.
But the parliamentary standing committee members on the ministries concerned said currently the situation has changed in the Middle East country and Bangladesh is also serious about its female workers’ security.
Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dipu Moni was the chief guest at the programme while chairman on the Ministry for Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun and chairman on Labour and Employment Israfil Alam were present.
Editor of Bhorer Kagoj Shyamal Dutta moderated the programme while former Bangladesh ambassador M Shafiullah, former consul general of Saudi Arabia Mohammad Zafor and president of Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (BAIRA) Abul Bashar were present, among others, at the seminar.
Dipu Moni said the resumption of Saudi Arabian market is a very good achievement for Bangladesh. “All the related ministries and private sector have to work properly to utilise the potential.”
She also said government is working for giving Machine Readable Passports (MRPs) to the Bangladeshis in Saudi Arabia within the deadline.
Israfil Alam said government will send female workers after providing six weeks’ training so that they can be protected in the ME country. “We will send workers there after ensuring their security.”
Over irregular migration Abul Bashar said they will recruit manpower from government database so that there might not be scope for malpractice. He also said they have the opportunity to discuss increase of workers’ wages with the Saudi employers.
M Shafiullah said housemaids are being abused by their employers in many ways in the Middle East country.
So, government can lay emphasis on sending skilled manpower as they are more protected than unskilled workers.
There is a big demand for female workers at different factories, shopping malls, driving and nursing sectors in the KSA, he added.