Explore Alternative Markets For Women Migrants Beyond Middle East
Migrant rights activists and civil society members on Wednesday urged the government to explore alternative market for the country’s women migrant workers as they were exploited in many ways in the Middle East (ME) countries.
For alternative markets, they suggested the government and recruiting agencies to look for more jobs for women workers especially in Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and Thailand where relevant laws ensured protection of the migrants’ rights.
The migrant rights campaigners also called the need for grooming skilled women migrant workers for overseas jobs as they would be able to ensure their protection and wage benefits.
The rights group came up with their demands at the seminar on ‘Rights and Welfare of Female Migrant Workers’ at the city’s CIRDAP auditorium.
Ministry of Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment organised the programme where 44 labour welfare officials from Bangladesh missions in 26 job destination countries were, among others present.
Sheepa Hafiza, executive director of Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) said the ME countries don’t follow UN and ILO conventions on migrant workers. So the government can explore new job destination countries such as Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and others developed countries.
She also said as the communication with domestic helps is very difficult by the government and others rights bodies in the ME countries, diaspora or long-term Bangladeshi migrants can be engaged to talk with them about their problems.
Addressing as the special guest, Meher Afroze Chumki, state minister of Ministry of Women and Children Affairs (MoWCA) said all women are not in bad condition. Many of them are getting due facilities.
“But bad experiences get more attention of public. That is why we hear more about abuse and torture of female workers abroad,” she said.
Ms Chumki also stressed on the need for increasing skilled women migration as it has a high demand in job destination countries.
“There is a large demand for nurses in many countries. We should give priority to sending such professionals to get more remittances,” she also added.
Nurul Islam, minister of MoEWOE was the chief guest at the programme said the government is giving importance on sending skilled workers. The employment opportunities of women overseas job seekers will increase through skilling them properly.
Nasima Begum, secretary of the MoWCA moderated while Nomita Halder, secretary of MoEWOE attended the programme.