J.T– Authorities on Tuesday were investigating the issue of three Bangladeshi domestic workers who allegedly jumped from the second storey of a building last Thursday.
The workers were returned by their employers to the recruitment office, where they reportedly jumped from the window for “still unknown reasons”, Mohammad Khatib, the Labour Ministry’s spokesperson, said Tuesday.
The Criminal Investigation Department’s Anti-Human Trafficking Unit on Tuesday said it was handling the case, according to a statement carried by the Jordan News Agency, Petra.
The workers are currently receiving treatment at Al Bashir Hospital, where one of them was reported to suffer bruises and fractures, the statement added.
“They are being dealt with as human trafficking victims until investigations with the recruitment office owner and an assistant of his are over,” said the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit.
So far, the investigation indicates that the workers were taken to the office because they “could not cope with their employers and work environment”.
“They insist that they were not abused by their employers whatsoever, but the recruitment office owner treated them in a bad way, prompting them to attempt an escape from a bathroom window,” said the statement.
Authorities are cooperating with the workers’ embassy and its lawyer in the investigation in order to refer the case to court.
Meanwhile, Tamkeen Fields for Aid on Tuesday strongly denounced the incident, saying that the abuse the workers were subjected to prompted them to escape in a way that threatened their lives.
“A team from Tamkeen has visited the workers at the hospital, and two of them said they were abused by their employers and were returned to the recruitment office upon their request, while the other one was taken by her employer to the office,” according to a Tamkeen statement received by The Jordan Times.
The centre noted that the workers were beaten by the office owner and were then locked up inside the bathroom while being deprived of food and water.
“A number of employees had given them food leftovers without the knowledge of the owner, who gave them the option to throw themselves from the window or be killed,” said Tamkeen.
The centre said there are hundreds of similar cases of abuse against domestic helpers in Jordan, a fact that constitutes a “flagrant” violation of international conventions the country is signatory to.
“We call on the concerned authorities to intensify their efforts to protect guest workers and hold abusers liable, while amending legislation governing workers’ well-being,” said Tamkeen.
Khatib said the ministry’s inspectors carry our periodical field visits to recruitment centres to ensure they abide by regulations.