Medical &Health

‘Tortured’ minor domestic help hospitalised

A minor domestic help has been hospitalised in Kushtia after allegedly being tortured by her employers in Dhaka.

The teenager, currently undergoing treatment at Khoksha Upazila Health Complex, has claimed that she was beaten and starved for days by her employer's wife.

"The torture began the day I started working for the family. My employer's wife used to heat iron sticks and place the same on my hands. She would often tie me up with a rope after torture," the girl told cops.

Police said that the teenager, belonging to a poor family in Khoksha upazila's Bangram Paschimpara area, was brought to Dhaka by her employer some nine months ago.

At the time, cops said, the employer promised to pay the minor's father a monthly sum of Tk 1,000 as her wages. But the couple severed all ties with the girl's father after returning to Dhaka.

The girl's father said, “In the past nine months, the Dhaka couple has not paid a penny to us. They also didn't allow my daughter to call us even once."

It was only on Wednesday that the Dhaka couple returned the injured teenager to her family, police said.

Shamim Mahmud, a doctor at the health complex, said that several burnt marks and bruises were visible on the girl's body. "These prove that the minor was subjected to torture."

Quamruzzaman Talukdar, officer-in-charge of Khoksha Police Station, said, “The alleged crime happened in Dhaka. Necessary action will be taken after we get a written complaint.”

When contacted, Masuduzzaman Rantu, the father of the accused woman, denied all the allegations against her daughter.

About 44 domestic helps in Bangladesh faced workplace torture in 2020, according to a report of Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies (BILS).

Of them, 16 were killed, 12 were raped, and 12 more suffered serious physical torture and abuse. And four domestic helps allegedly committed suicide.

The findings emerged from a virtual discussion on "Domestic workers’ workplace conditions and legal protections in 2020”, organised by Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies (BILS), Mass Literacy Campaign, Halotask, Nari Maitree, Red Orange and UCEP Bangladesh on January 31, 2021.

Source: United News of Bangladesh