Migrants’ rights activists and recruiting agents on Tuesday called on the government to allocate adequate budget for the migration sector to protect rights of the workers and widen welfare activities for their families.
Speaking at a consultation, they also urged the government to implement relevant laws properly to ensure safe, orderly and responsible migration that would help achieve the sustainable development goals set by the UN.
They said the government should pay more attention to the migrant workers as they were contributing to the overall development of the country.
WARBE Development Foundation in collaboration with Solidarity Centre in Dhaka organised the consultation on ‘Safe Migration as an Anti-Trafficking Agenda: Addressing Migration in Sustainable Development Goals’ at the National Press Club in Dhaka.
Lawmaker Roksana Yasmin Suti, who is also a member of the Parliamentarian Caucus on Migration and Development, was present as the chief guest.
International Labour Organisation’s national programme officer Rahnuma Salam Khan, who made a keynote presentation, said the domestic workers were often fell victim to repression at workplaces.
‘All concerns, including the government and non-government organisations, will have to work together to address the challenges of SDGs,’ she said, adding that the arranging decent works for huge populations and enhancing skills
to groom migrants for overseas jobs have been big challenges.
Migrant’s rights campaigner and WARBE Development Foundation chairman Syed Saiful Haque said that international laws protecting rights
of migrant workers should be enforced by raising voice globally.
‘Although migrant workers are sending remittances to keep the country’s economy vibrant but there is no visible investment from the government for the betterment of those workers,’ he said
INAFI Bangladesh executive director Atiqun Nabi said that migrant workers and their family members had made great sacrifice for the country, so the state should widen welfare and protection measures for them in return.
Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agency’s joint secretary general Shameem Ahmed Chowdhury Noman said the government should conduct research to find out the causes of deaths of the migrants abroad and reduce the violations against the female migrant workers.
He demanded that employers who committed offences against the female workers should be brought to justice, Shameem Ahmed, also owner of Sadia International recruiting agency, urged the
government to declare the manpower sector as industry.
WARBE Development Foundation secretary general Faruque Ahmed demanded exemplary punishment of human traffickers who were engaged in sending workers abroad through sea routes.
‘If safe migration can be ensured, there would not be trafficking,’ he said.
Workers Shahnaj, Shamsul Haque and Moriam, who once worked abroad, said that their employers did not pay them.
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