Data of Returnees Needed for Reintegration
Photo: Migration News

Migration experts have emphasized the need for collecting data of the returnee migrant workers of Bangladesh before taking reintegration programs for them.

They found many challenges including lack of data of the returning workers in the way of ensuring reintegration supports to Bangladeshi migrants.

Speaking at a conference, they urged the government of Bangladesh to take necessary policy to introduce the reintegration supports to the returnee migrants.

The rights activists made their observations while speaking at the season on Reintegration of the Returnee Migrants’ of a 2-day conference, organized by Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU) at the city's BRAC Centre Inn.   

Moderating the session on Reintegration of the Returnee Migrants, CR Selva, advocate and solicitor, High Court of Malaysia, said that reintegration support was very essential for returning workers. ‘It should be sustainable for the workers,’ he said.

Sharing her experience, Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA) program assistant Alexis Nadine Bautista gave a brief picture of the reintegration services in the Philippines.

With steady inflow of remittances to the Philippines and the growing awareness of its potential for sustenance and development, she said that the Commission on Filipinos Overseas established 'One Stop Online Portal for Diaspora Engagement.’

Referring to findings of their research, Marina Sultana, director programme of RMMRU said they have seen that on average 27 per cent of total migrant workers returned home each year.

‘But there is no national policy on reintegration of them. For this reason, workers are unable to utilize their skills that they acquire from job destination countries,’ she said.

The country migrant workers were coming back home with solid money, but they have no proper investment scope, she said.

“So they want to go abroad again,” said Marina, adding that the issues should be addressed in the recommendations of migration decade.

Farzana Shahnaz, national program officer of IOM said they have faced challenges while implementing a reintegration program due to lack of information of returning workers.

She emphasized on providing psycho-social supports along with financial reintegration to ensure a safe migration.  

Migration expert Asif Munier recommended for preparing returning workers database to ensure reintegration.

He said the media should follow up their reports that they make on migrant workers vulnerabilities.

‘It can be helpful for policy making and research works about migrant workers,’ said Munier, who had worked in ILO and IOM offices in Bangladesh.

In open discussion, Shirin Sultana Lira, IBP manager and gender and social inclusion advisor of PROKAS of British Council said reintegration programs should be gender focused so that the country’s women migrant workers could get benefitted properly.  

Lawmaker Shirin Akhtar assured of taking up the issues to the parliament.

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