The female workers who are technically skilled and educated should go to work abroad as they will be capable enough to get themselves protected from sexual abuses and other problems, said labour migration experts.
Migrants’ rights activists, trade union leaders and returnee workers said that female workers should not be sent abroad for domestic job which was vulnerable to sexual abuse unless the state failed to take full protection measures.
They made their observations while speaking at a dialogue on celebrating International Workers’ Day-2018, jointly organized by WARBE Development Foundation and Bangladesh Ovibashi Adhikar Forum at the National Press Club.
Speaking as chief at dialogue on ‘Ensure and Protect Migrant Workers Rights and Safety’ member of the Parliamentarians Caucus on Migration and Development, Hosne Ara Lutfa Dalia MP said that there were lots of domestic works at home and the female workers need not go abroad with the housemaid jobs.
‘Without being skilled and educated, female workers should not go abroad to work. If necessary only meritorious female workers will go abroad,’ she said, adding that female workers could not be made skilled with ‘one month trainings’ at home.
The lawmaker expressed her solidarity with the right activists who demanded protection of rights of the female migrant workers who were frequently returning home suffering sexual harassment and others abuses abroad.
WARBE Development Foundation chairman Syed Saiful Haque who presided over the dialogue said that it was urgently needed to protect rights of domestic workers at home by taking legal steps.
‘Then we can proceed to advocate for upholding the rights of workers at the foreign countries,’ he said.
BOAF chairman Nazmul Ahsan said that domestic workers were forced to work more hours and their working hours and wages should be fixed and protected by signing the bilateral agreements.
He called for bring the middlemen under the government’s regulation.
WARBE Development Foundation secretary general Faruque Ahmed said that the state must take responsibility to protect the country’s all citizens including the female migrant workers being abused abroad.
‘If it fails to protect them, female workers should not be sent abroad,’ he said.
Faruque Ahmed demanded the government to conduct fresh postmortem of dead bodies of migrant workers coming home to discover real cause of deaths in Bangladesh.
Domestic worker leader Murshida Akhter said that the domestic workers were more vulnerable groups in the country and their rights should be protected through enforcing national policy and ratifying ILO convention 189 without delay.
BOAF member Shimanto Shiraj said that boosting foreign currency reserve has been possible only for the country’s 1.15 crore migrant workers who were working abroad and sending money back home.
WARBE Development Foundation director Jasiya Khatoon moderated the dialogue while its monitoring and documentation officer Roksana Mohammed presented keynote paper.