According to the Thompson Reuters Foundation, in the last year there have been 45 reported cases of Bangladeshi women being sold into slavery in war-torn Syria. Most of them were from rural areas and were tricked by an employment agency that promised them a job in Jordan or Lebanon. Instead, they were sold as domestic and sex slaves to Syria.
“They are innocent, uneducated women who come from the villages. They do not know anything about Syria and what is happening there. They think they are going to Lebanon or Jordan for a good life.”
Read the full article here.
- The IOM estimates that over 8 million Bangladeshis are working abroad. Many of them are in the Gulf Arab states like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Oman. Some are given what they were promised and can send money home to their families. Others are being exploited.
- It’s easy to see why there is a shortage in domestic labour in Syria – everyone is fleeing the country. Traffickers have innovated to meet the demand. It would be interesting to know what kind of families are exploiting these women. While we don’t have that information, there’s a good chance that some of them are government officials or ISIS leaders.
- These cases are difficult to investigate. Not only are they international operations that involve people in several countries, but war zones add another layer of complexity.
- While 45 is likely the tip of the ice berg, hopefully it will spark preventative action on the Bangladesh end. Awareness in rural villages, coupled with meaningful employment opportunities, is key.