Ending torture on domestic workers

Published:  12:23 AM, 14 September 2018

'It's all about changing the mentality'

If the mindsets of people do not change, the prevalence of torture on domestic workers would not come down, said State Minister for Labor and Employment Mujibul Haque Chunnu yesterday.

The torturers are neither psycho nor uneducated, said the junior minister adding: "They with sound mental health are torturing the minor domestic workers at their residences. It's often found that those who are very kind in raising up their kids are furious to the domestic helps."    

"Worst case studies show men are sexual violating the girls while their wives and children are responsible for physical tortures. It's all about changing mentality to change the scenario," he explained.

Chunnu shared his experience while formulating the 'Domestic Workers Protection and Welfare Policy'. He said his colleagues, with neglecting tones, asked why he was so active to introduce it.      

 "Then I briefed the prime minister who encouraged me a lot. I asked her for a chance to enact a law. The PM said good, pass it," he recalled.    A policy would hardly ensure the rights of the workers as people are too ignorant even to abide by the law, claiming so the junior minister addressed that he however could not finalize it.  

The policy guarantees punishment for torture of domestic workers under the existing laws, including penal code and Women and Child Repression Prevention Act while the government is task forced to ensure it.

While addressing a discussion at the Jatiya Press Club yesterday, Chunnu said nearly 12 lakh children are involved in child labor in Bangladesh. "The government is committed to eradicate child labor by 2021," he said adding the cabinet would pass necessary laws in this regard.

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