Migrant rights campaigners and government officials on Thursday stressed the need for raising public awareness at the grassroots level to save migrant workers from getting cheated by brokers.
Due to lack of proper information on safe migration, many Bangladeshi migrant workers were being cheated by brokers while taking their jobs abroad, they said.
They made their remarks while speaking at ‘Coordination Meeting with BMET on Updates of Grievance Receiving Center (GRC) and issues of Migrant’s Grievances’, organized by WARBE Development Foundation at the BMET Conference Room.
Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training officials who attended the meeting stressed the need for bringing the middlemen under the purview of legal frameworks.
They said that most of the licensed recruiting agents were ‘dishonest and cunning’ and were involved in making profits rather than providing services to the migrant workers.
BMET additional director general Sheikh Rafiqul Islam who spoke at the meeting as chief guest said that middlemen were cheating the migrant workers and they have to be brought under legal framework.
‘It is duty of all concerned ministries and departments to work in united manner,’ he said, adding that concerned ministries in Vietnam, Indonesia and Sri Lanka were working jointly to ensure there safe and orderly migration.
BMET director Mujibur Rahman said that 374 cases of female workers were filed at BMET office since June and most them were related to the problems of migration to the King of Saudi Arabia.
BMET director Ataur Rahman said that he received hundreds of complaints from the migrant workers and their family members and the authorities were trying to solve the problems at their level best.
WARBE Development Foundation chairman Syed Saiful Haque said that the government should establish centers for the returnee migrants to efficiently deal the migrants’ cases.
Mexico, Ghana and Philippines have established migrant returnee centers for dealing cases of their workers, he cited.
On August 5, garment worker Sahida Akhter returned home from Jordan as she was sent there as housemaid. Sahida said his employer tortured her in Jordan.
Another worker Aleya begum said that a broker took Tk 60,000 from her for job in Dubai. On arrival in Dubai, she found job but the employer declined to pay her wages.
However, the employer informed her that he had bought her with Tk three lakh, she said.
WARBE DF director Jasiya Khtoon who made a presentation said that they have been working with the issues of migrant’s grievances since 2013. From then, WARBE has successfully solved a good number of grievances with the help of BMET, she said.
‘Last year, WARBE DF has established one Grievance Receiving center at BMET and two Grievance Mechanism Committees in Comilla,’ she said.
WARBE DF received 107 grievances including 64 Male and 43 Female grievances mostly from Saudi Arab, said Jasiya, adding that Malaysia ranked second most in terms of destination countries.
She mentioned that they have successfully solved 19 grievances and recovered 14,44,500/- taka from responsible parties.
BMET officials, trade union leaders and migrant rights campaigners took part in the coordination meeting.