The Migratory Movements Research Unit on Wednesday launched a research titled on ‘The Social Cost of Migration on Left Behind Migrants Spouse and Children in Bangladesh.
According to finding of the research, the government, civil society organization and NGOs have failed to incorporate the issue of left behind family members of migrants in mainstream policy and programme activities in Bangladesh.
The research recommended that the support services to left behind families should be made integral part of government support and protection framework.
Presenting the recommendations of the finding, RMMRU founding chair Tasneem Siddiqui said that the Wage Earners Welfare Board of needed to incorporate left behind husbands, wives and children as their important stakeholders
The report also recommended that BMET could start developing a database of left behind families of migrant workers and this can be done during the same time when BMET registers the migrants and provides smartcards to them.
The right to communicate with children should be ensured during bilateral negotiations with destination countries, she added.
Speaking at inauguration session as chief guest, state ministry for foreign affairs Shahriar Alam said that as per recommendations of the study, the government would take steps to do comprehensive study on social cost of left behind families of migrants to undertake necessary measures.
He said that the government has given top priority on migrant workers’ issues considering that they were contributing to the national economy greatly.
‘It is quite difficult to assess the monetary value of the social cost of the left behind families of the migrant workers,’ he said.
Speaking as guesty of honour, Israfil Alam MP said that remittances were the lifeline of the country’s economy.
He said that the social cost of migration was very important as the female workers who were facing problems, getting abused and harassed at destination.
He said that government mechanism should be developed to save the female workers in distress.
Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment ministry additional secteray Ahmed Munirus Saleheen said that it was natural that children of the left behind migrant workers suffer a lot due to absence of their parents at home.
He said that social stigma attached with left behind wife or husband need to be changed.
SDC senior adviser Suzanne Mueller said that migration was important in Bangladesh as it contributes to poverty reduction and development in general.
RMMRU executive director CR Abrar presided over the inaugural session, followed by working sessions which was attended by human rights activists, migration experts and senior government officials.