Freedom from slavery in a foreign land

In Bangladesh, everyone wants to work abroad. We’ve all seen people come back with savings, set up their own business, and their status in the community is completely changed. I was so excited to find someone who was able to help me get a job in Saudi Arabia working as a house helper. In Bangladesh, this is a low job, but working abroad, I was sure I’d make money. I’d be able to help my family, marry well, have a bright future. I boarded the plane with so much excitement. I’d never left Bangladesh before. I’d never thought I could have so much opportunity.


A man met me at the airport and took me to work for a family of six. I woke up at 5 am every morning and worked until 10 pm every day. I had no rest at all. I was willing to work hard though, for good money.


After one month I asked for my salary. I was shocked when they told me they had paid lots of money to bring me there. “You will get food only,” they said. I continued to plead with them, beg them, but all they did was beat me. Even now, I have the scars of this abuse. I knew they had my documents, but I didn’t know where. They just showed me a knife and threatened me if I ever made a mistake or complained.

I had to do all the shopping for the family. There was a woman at the shop I frequented who was also from Bangladesh. I confided in her all that I faced from this family. I told her I would run away. She told me that if I run away without my documents, the police will only put me in jail. She gave me a number of a police officer who I was able to call for help. The police came to the house, rescued me, and helped me get back to Bangladesh.


My dreams of working abroad never came true, but I am glad to be back in my country. After such a nightmare, I am happy now. I am living with my family and learning how to sew at Basha Enterprises. I will try to build new dreams in my own country.


*Name changed

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