Migrant rights campaigners and trade union leaders on Monday called for addressing the key issues of fair and ethical recruitment, consular support in crisis, access to justice, support service and welfare protection as well as decent work when the UN Global Forum on Migration and Development adopts the global compact for migration.
They raised the issues at a roundtable discussion on ‘Four Thematic Areas of Global Compact for Migration,’ organized by Solidarity Centre’s Bangladesh Office in the capital.
The Global Compact for Migration is very important for Bangladesh since its 10 million workers are serving different countries, they said.
Solidarity Center’s country programme director Christopher K Johnson in his welcome remarks described migration as a global issue requiring all to show positive attitudes towards migrant workers’ movement across the world.
Solidarity Center’s deputy programme director Kelly Fay Rodriguez said that the rights of both regular and irregular migrants should be protected with due emphasis in the Global Compact to be adopted by the United Nations in December.
Bangladesh Civil Society Coordination Committee on Global Forum on Migration and Development Co-chair Syed Saiful Haque said that there was visible lack of coordination among the ministries of expatriate welfare and overseas employment, employment and labour, home and foreign affairs on migrants’ issues.
‘All of the concerned ministries should work together to take the issues ahead in the country,’ said, Saiful Haque, also chairman of WARBE Development Foundation.
Trade union leader Abul Hossain said that Bangladesh has not yet ratified the ILO convention 189 that calls for ensuring decent living and working conditions for domestic workers.
For this reason, he said, ‘We face problems when we raise our domestic workers’ issues working in the Middle East countries.’
Trade union leader and Supreme Court lawyer Delwar Hossain Khan said that most of the country’s workers were recruited for overseas jobs by the recruiting agencies who continuously cheat them and charge high migration fees.
He sought ILO’s intervention in removing discriminatory wages paid to Bangladeshi workers in destination countries.
Solidarity Centre’s senior programme officer Dr Lily Gomes while moderating the discussions said that migration issue was very important and every one should play their due roles to ensure safe, orderly and regular migration.
Ovibashi Karmi Unnayan Program chairman Shakirul Islam, Bangladeshi Ovhibashi Mohila Sramik Association director Sumaiya Islam, IMA Research foundation executive director Anisur Rahman Khan also spoke.
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