FOREIGN WORKER FORCED TO RETURN HOME BY EMPLOYER AFTER BREAKING HIS BACK AT WORK

Foiled repatriation part 2: My colleague Luke Tan was at the airport to prevent an employer from sending Ashraful, a worker from Bangladesh back to his country. The employer was hopping mad when we did that and filed a police report. With a serious back injury which could result in a permanent disability, we are seeking answers to why he was sent home without the treatment recommended by his doctor.

We also learned that he spent 2 months at NUH waiting for the employer to provide a letter of guarantee to pay for his operation. Why wasn’t it given despite the fact that it was deemed necessary by the doctor? Why was he kept for two whole months even though the doctor recommended an operation “as early as possible?”

MOM was informed of the urgency of the situation before the scheduled repatriation, but he still did not receive the treatment he needs. We have filed another appeal and will wait for the outcome. Hopefully it is a positive one. Ashraful has worked four years in Singapore doing jobs which Singaporeans are less likely to do. He has contributed so much but he’s going home with a broken back.

Big thanks to Dipa Swaminathan who helped write frantic emails to MOM expressing her concerns about the situation, which played a part in Ashraful’s matter being given more serious consideration. We need allies like her in the fight for justice.

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