The Ministry of Expatriates› Welfare and Overseas Employment was mulling ways to enlist middlemen as the ministry has decided to regulate their activities to ensure a safe and orderly migration process.
Secretary of the ministry Ahmed Munirus Saleheen announced the decision at a webinar organised by the Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit on Sunday.
RMMRU founding chair and Dhaka University professor Tasneem Siddiqui presented the keynote paper where she explained the necessity of middlemen in the prevailing migration process.
Member of parliament Aroma Dutta, Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training director general Shamsul Alam, Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies’ general secretary Shameem Ahmed Chowdhury Noman, Gerry Fox and Lira Shirin among others spoke at the webinar title ‘Streamlining Labour Recruitment through Regularisation of Middlemen’.
The speakers discussed a number of ways in which to enlist the middlemen who are engaged in 17 types of activities in the process of migration.
The RMMRU proposed that BAIRA should open its district-level offices in cooperation with the government and appoint a number of middlemen to disseminate information and other services.
Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the ministry, Anisul Islam Mahmud, also chief guest of the event, said that if the government would make a list of the middleman to benefit Bangladeshi migrant workers.
He, however, argued that it would be better if the BMET is given the responsibility of enlisting and controlling the middlemen rather than BAIRA.
Member of the parliamentary committee Shameem Haider Patwary proposed that like marriage registrars or court assistants, the government need not pay wages to these intermediaries.
‘They would get a percentage of fees for their services,’ he explained.
Shamsul Alam, DG of the BMET said that exclusion of middlemen would be difficult but controlling them would ensure benefits for all.
‘We want to hold them accountable at every level of the process,’ he said.
Some others, however, proposed to set up separate offices at each upazila like other government offices such as the social welfare and election commission offices.
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