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Demands exemplary punishment of torturers to end violence against domestic workers

Trade union leaders and civil society representatives called for end to violence against domestic workers, exemplary punishment for torturers, including legal protection, proper treatment of victims and appropriate compensation. The demand was made at a human chain and protest meeting held in front of the National Press Club on June 16, 2021. Domestic Workers Rights Network-DWRN organised the human chain and protest meeting.

Speakers at the human chain and protest meeting said that recently (June 11, 2021) a domestic worker named Niasa Akhter (18) was tortured in a house in Sector 9, Uttara, Dhaka. They said, incidents of torture, killings, and human rights abuses against domestic workers have risen alarmingly in recent years. In such a situation, International Domestic Workers’ Day is being celebrated today. The speakers said that just as they have some fair rights as domestic workers, they also have the right to dignity as human beings. During this COVID-19 period, domestic workers did not receive much help or support from the public and private sectors and a large number of them were laid off and unemployed. As a result, it has become difficult for them to survive. Such incidents of violence and torture against them in such situations are extreme signs of inhumanity.

The speakers said that one after another deaths and tortures of domestic workers are taking place in the country due to the non-implementation of the ‘Domestic Workers Protection and Welfare Policy 2015’ framed for the protection of domestic workers across the country. They said the torturer repeatedly dared to torture domestic workers because of the lack of justice. If the torturers of these incidents are given exemplary punishment, then no one will dare to torture the domestic workers for fear of that.

At the same time, the speakers demanded ratification of the ILO Convention-189 and implementation of the ‘Domestic workers protection and Welfare Policy, 2015′ to protect the safety of domestic workers across the country, to include domestic workers in the labour law, fair compensation to the injured workers, medical expenses of the injured workers to be borne by the employers, permanent rehabilitation of the families of the killed workers and injured workers.

Domestic Workers’ Rights Network-DWRN acting Coordinator Abul Hossain, presided over the human chain and protest meeting, which was attended by leaders of human rights organisations, national trade union federations, and civil society representatives.