Lawmakers, migrant rights activists and migration researchers on Saturday emphasized the need for allocating enhanced budget for the migrant workers’ welfare and development activities at home and abroad.
They said that it was necessary to have sufficient budget for the migrant workers who were immensely contributing to the country’s economy by sending their hard earned remittance.
They made the remarks while speaking at a consultation on national budget for fairer labour migration at MPs Club, organized by Parliamentarians’ caucus on migration and development with support of WARBE Development Foundation and institute of informatics and Development.
Chairman of Parliamentarians’ caucus on migration and development Israfil Alam who moderated the consultation said that the government decided to give three per cent incentive on migrant workers’ remittances sent through banks to discourage undocumented remittance transfers.
At one stage, Israfil introduced newly joined Solidarity Centrer’s Bangladesh country program director Jon Hartough with attending participants at the consultation.
Jon Hartough who was accompanied by Solidarity Centre’s senior program officer Dr Lily Gomes gave a hello to all participants and also wished them Eid Mubarak in advance.
Inaugurating the consultation deputy speaker Fazle Rabbi Miah said that new budget would be placed in Parliament on June 13 for which the allocations had been finalized.
A brief resolution of the consultation could be submitted to the finance minister for taking possible steps, he said.
Ain o Salish Kendra executive director Sheepa Hafiza said that sufficient budgetary allocations were needed for welfare of the children of the migrant workers as they were vulnerable to physical and sexual abuses at home.
She said that adequate allocation was needed to strengthening the labour wings at Bangladesh missions abroad as well as for the re-integration of the migrants after them come back.
WARBE Development Foundation chairman Syed Saiful Haque said that special allocation should be made in the national budget to establish returnee migrants’ rehabilitation centres to involve them with small and medium enterprises.
He said that the authorities in Ghana, Mexico and the Philippines already established such centres.
IID chief executive officer Sayeed Ahamed made a powerPoint presentation at the consultation.
Caucus members Aroma Dutta MP and Samsun Nahar MP, BAIRA secretary general Shameem Ahmed Chowdhury Noman, RMMRU director Marina Sultana, BNSK executive director Sumaiya Islam, BOMSA general secretary Sheikh Rumana and OKUP’s senior trainer Supriya Shahnewaz also spoke at the consultation.
Meanwhile, the attending guests unveiled the Bangladesh Annual Migration Report 2018, prepared and presented by WARBE Development Foundation.