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Ordeals of modern-day slaves

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Ordeals of modern-day slaves

Thereport24.com, Dhaka:

Some employment agencies are pushing people into the world of modern slavery in the name of manpower export, thereport24.com has reported.

Md Siddique, an engineer, is one of the 180 Bangladeshi migrants who went to Iraq through Career Overseas Consultant Limited on May 22 last year, but experienced gruesome torture there.

They were confined to a room in the Iraqi city of Najaf and would be beaten with pipes and iron rods throughout the day and night. They would be forced to take liquor and then lick the vomit while some of them also faced sexual assault.

None of the migrants would be given meals regularly but all of them would be forced to work 20 hours a day.

They were tortured not only by the employment agency staff but also local Iraqi goons.

Siddique said that Career Overseas Consultant Limited was supposed to take all 180 migrants to Qatar according to the contract but it deceived them by taking to Iraq instead.

Several members of staff of the Bangladeshi embassy in Iraq, including the chief of the mission, were involved in taking the migrants to Iraq, claimed Siddique.

He also alleged that Career Overseas Consultant Limited had been successful in bypassing the vigilance of the authorities to traffic workers abroad.

Siddique, who experienced the life a modern-day slave in Iraq, returned home on April 4 by escaping from captivity with the help of local Bangladeshis. But we do not know how many of such modern-day slaves are being held in captivity around the world at present.

What we know is that the number is on the rise because of lack of awareness among people who are constantly lured by dishonest manpower agencies, and indifference of the government as well.

Ends/thereport24.com/MI/Apr 13, 2015