A sizable percentage of Sri Lankan migrant workers, especially young women and mothers who leave their loved ones to make some extra money to send back home, go through traumatic personal experiences working overseas as domestic helpers.
With all the nightmare stories about Sri Lankan domestics being mistreated by their foreign employers, it is surprising that Sri Lankan women want to go to such countries in the first place, knowing the potential dangers.
They take a big risk, not knowing what is in store for them in a country where almost every aspect of life, from culture, language and religion, is different.
Of course, there are the lucky ones who find work in homes where they are treated and paid well.
But a large majority of Lankan domestic workers return disappointed. Many have suffered harassment and abuse at the hands of their employers, and come home broken women. These people have nowhere to turn to.
In some cases, the women are encouraged by their husbands who wait like hawks here to grab their wives’ hard-earned money. Most of these men are lazy and unemployed, and they are very good at spending their wives’ money.
There should be some sort of arrangement whereby domestics who have had bad experiences overseas are compensated by the agents who found them jobs overseas.