Disguising unpaid child labour as ‘housemaids’

Disguising unpaid child labour as ‘housemaids’

Kohinur Akhter is 35 now, but was only eight when she came to Dhaka. For the first ten years of employment, she did not receive any wages – only food and board. While Kohinur was never beaten or tortured physically, she eventually left the house. “Everyone treated me like I have no future and I would just marry a driver one day. I did not want that life. My employers were nice to me, but sometimes I feel frustrated that I was a domestic worker for a decade, but I was never paid,” said Kohinur. According to Nazrul Islam, “there is a trend of hiring under-18 domestic workers from villages, for whom living in the city with three meals a day is a big deal. There are also middle men who negotiate the process and convince parents to overlook the basic human rights of their children,” added Nazrul Islam. “The Domestic Worker Protection and Welfare Policy 2015 requires these workers to be registered at the Union Parishad level, but most people do not do so out of fear of social stigma.”

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