Due to lack of implementation of migration laws, Bangladeshi migrant workers are frequently getting cheated by the middlemen at start-up stage of their overseas migration, experts said on Sunday.
Speaking at a consultation, labour leaders, migrant rights campaigners, civil society members and returned migrants called for proper implementation of the laws of the land to punish the middlemen and ensure safe labour migration.
On occasion of International Human Rights Day, WARBE Development Foundation organized the consultation on ‘Human Rights Violation of Bangladeshi Migrants and Their Protection’ at the National Press Club.
Earlier in the day, the participants of the consultation demanded protection of Bangladeshi migrants’ rights from a human chain they formed in front of the press club.
Lawmaker and member of the Parliamentarian Caucus of Migration and Development Roksana Yasmin Suty, speaking as chief guest, said that the government would take action if true and specific allegations were lodged with government.
The lawmaker, however, stressed for creating mass awareness to reduce migration cost and control race of middlemen.
Trade Union labour leader Abul Hossain said that as the migration was one of the fundamental rights of the people and they should be given the rights of safe movement although the real situation was opposite.
Abu Hossain also said that effective implementation of laws were needed to ensure safe labour migration from the country.
Ovibashi Karmi Unnayan Program executive director Omar Faruque Chowdhury said that the government must be proactive to protect the rights of Bangladeshi migrant workers as they were sending hard earned remittances.
He alleged that the Overseas Employment and Migrants Act 2013 actually protected the rights of middlemen not the migrant workers.
Manusher Jonno Foundation’s programme manager Sarowat Binte Islam said that it was very to mention that the rights of the female migrants were being violated as they were cheated at home and were also abused at the destination countries.
WARBE Development Foundation secretary general Faruque Ahmed said that Bangladesh mission should ensure that the sexually abused female migrants were getting their justice at the country of destinations.
At the Arab countries implementation of law was very strict and Bangladeshi victims would get compensations if legal process was taken there, he observed.
Bangladesh Ovibashi Adhikar Forum chairman Nazmul Ahsan said that migrant workers were not getting their minimum rights as their problems started at home, they faced problems in destinations and after returning home,
WARBE Development Foundation director Jasiya Khatoon who presented keynote said that over one crore migrant workers from Bangladesh were working in 162 countries.
Many of them have migrated with help of middlemen paying high cost for migration, she said.
She called for protection of the rights of the country’s migrant workers at home and abroad.
Returned migrants Rehana Begum, Soma, Kamala and Rafiqul Islam shared their bad and good experiences of migration at the consultation.