Indian worker abused in Bahrain

This video says about itself:

Bangladeshi girls dancing at night clubs in Bahrain

11 May 2014

Bangladesh is a source and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor and forced prostitution. A significant share of Bangladesh’s trafficking victims are men recruited for work overseas with fraudulent employment offers who are subsequently exploited under conditions of forced labor or debt bondage. Children — both boys and girls — are trafficked within Bangladesh for commercial sexual exploitation, bonded labor, and forced labor. Some children are sold into bondage by their parents, while others are induced into labor or commercial sexual exploitation through fraud and physical coercion. Women and children from Bangladesh are also trafficked to India for commercial sexual exploitation.[1]

Bangladeshi men and women migrate willingly to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, Iraq, Lebanon, Malaysia, Liberia, and other countries for work, often under legal and contractual terms. Most Bangladeshis who seek overseas employment through legal channels rely on the 724 recruiting agencies belonging to the Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (BAIRA). These agencies are legally permitted to charge workers up to $1,235 and place workers in low-skilled jobs typically paying between $100 and $150 per month. According to NGOs, however, many workers are charged upwards of $6,000 for these services. A recent Amnesty International report on Malaysia indicated Bangladeshis spend more than three times the amount of recruitment fees paid by other migrant workers recruited for work in Malaysia. NGOs report many Bangladeshi migrant laborers are victims of recruitment fraud, including exorbitant recruitment fees often accompanied by fraudulent representation of terms of employment. The ILO has concluded high recruitment fees increase vulnerability to forced labor among transnational migrant workers. Women typically work as domestic servants; some find themselves in situations of forced labor or debt bondage where they face restrictions on their movements, non-payment of wages, threats, and physical or sexual abuse. Some Bangladeshi women working abroad are subsequently trafficked into commercial sexual exploitation. Bangladeshi children and adults are also trafficked internally for commercial sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, and bonded labor. Recent reports indicate many brothel owners and pimps addict Bangladeshi girls to steroids, with devastating side effects, to make them more attractive to clients; the drug is reported to be used by 90 percent of females between 15 and 35 in Bangladeshi brothels.[1]

Bangladesh does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government has continued to address the sex trafficking of women and children. Despite these significant efforts, the government did not demonstrate evidence of increased efforts to prosecute and convict labor trafficking offenders, particularly those responsible for the fraudulent recruitment of Bangladeshi workers for the purpose of forced labor overseas. Similarly it did not demonstrate increased efforts to prevent the forced labor of Bangladeshi workers overseas through effective controls on high recruitment fees and other forms of fraudulent recruitment; therefore, Bangladesh is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for the second consecutive year. Some government officials and members of civil society continue to believe the forced labor and debt bondage of Bangladeshi workers abroad was not considered labor trafficking, but rather employment fraud perpetrated on irregular migrants.

From The Hindu in India:

April 13, 2013

Tales of horror from Bahrain

S. Sandeep Kumar

22-year-old Durga Bhavani, who went to Bahrain to work as a domestic help, says she was abused, thrashed and made to work for 20 hours a day

Last April, when 22-year-old N. Naga Durga Bhavani left for Bahrain to work as a domestic help, she was dreaming to repay loans taken for her elder daughter’s heart surgery.

But destiny had other things in store for her. In Bahrain, she was abused, thrashed and was made to work for over 20 hours a day.

“My passport was taken and it was hell there,” says Bhavani, who came back to Hyderabad on Friday morning with bitter memories and empty hands.

A resident of Vanapalli village in East Godavari district, Bhavani had never heard of a country called Bahrain.

It was Ram Babu, a native of her village and Sudershan from neighbouring Allavaram village, who approached her with the offer.

“I did not even have a passport till that time. My four-year-old elder daughter Munni, who had a heart problem, had undergone a surgery. My younger daughter Kharimunnisa was just five months when I left home,” she recalls. She claims to have paid Rs.15,000 to Sudershan for getting a passport and for processing the application.

On April 6, 2012, she was brought to the city along with 10 other Telugu speaking women.

Documents snatched

“We were assured that our salary would be Rs. 8,000 per month besides food and other benefits. Soon after landing in Bahrain, one Lilly Kumari and Ram Babu, who was already staying there, snatched our passports,” she explains.

They collected all other documents, including boarding pass, ticket booking slips, etc. Ram Babu and Kumari employed me in a house that had 12 rooms, eight bathrooms, two kitchens and over 30 members, she recalls.

“I had to clean the house, wash clothes, help the cook, and take care of children. I used to sleep late in the night and wake up at 5 a.m. I was offered only lunch,” recollects Bhavani.

Vexed with the work, she complained to Kumari and Ram Babu but all she got was broken fingers when Kumari thrashed her. “She said I could not fly back as the employer had already paid the contract amount. Left with no choice, I went to work in another home,” she said.

Things were similar in that house too.

“The house owner used to beat me and shout at me. After working for four months, I made up my mind and escaped from the house. Thankfully, a Telugu person took me to Indian embassy,” she says.

But her struggles continued. In the embassy, they needed her passport or a true copy but she had nothing to produce. It was Migrants Forum in Asia, Bahrain chapter and National Domestic Workers Movement here, which helped her.

“I went to Sudershan to collect a true copy of Bhavani’s passport, but he gave it after two months,” says Lissy Joseph, national coordinator of National Domestic Workers Movement.

From Reuters:

Thousands of Bahrainis mount protest before Formula One

April 13, 2013

Thousands of Bahrainis staged a peaceful march on Friday in the first of a series of protests the Shia-led opposition is planning to hold before next week’s Formula One Grand Prix race. Police stayed away from Friday’s demonstration as protesters denounced king Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa and Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa, his uncle.

“You have no legitimacy,” they chanted. The Gulf Arab state, where the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet is based, has been hit by unrest since pro-democracy protests broke out in early 2011, putting it in the frontline of the region-wide power struggle between Iran and Arab states such as Saudi Arabia.

Waving the red-and-white Bahraini flag, the demonstrators marched from one main roundabout to another in the village of al-Aali, some 15 km (nine miles) outside the capital Manama. “The Formula One is used by the regime to advertise that there is nothing wrong in Bahrain,” said Abdelwahid al-Nadhkhadha, a 53-year-old company employee. “We are showing the world that we are people with demands.” Watched by millions around the world, the Grand Prix is the biggest sporting event hosted by the US-allied country whose government is hoping for a big turnout despite continuing violent unrest.

Companies who help to bankroll Formula One motor racing are limiting their involvement in the Bahrain Grand Prix this month, saving some of their marketing dollars for less politically sensitive races: here.

7 thoughts on “Indian worker abused in Bahrain

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