Leading migration experts on Monday urged the government to protect the Bangladeshi migrant workers and the diaspora communities abroad as both groups often faced problems abroad but they immensely contributed to the national economy.
They called for taking effective steps to link the diaspora communities with development activities to get the country benefited from the migration.
They made the remark while speaking at ‘Advancing Development Through Partnership and Collective Action: Enriching Migration Cycle’ organized by INAFI Bangladesh in collaboration with BASUG Netherlands and Bangladesh Civil Society for Migration (BCSM) in the city.
In his welcome address, BASUG International chairman Bikash Chowdhury Barua said that concerted efforts were needed to make the migration benefited for all.
He highlighted the objectives of the Global Compact on Migration to ensure safe, orderly and regular migration.
Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU) executive director Dr CR Abrar said that Bangladeshi migrant workers and diaspora often faced various problems both at home and abroad.
‘So they should be protected immediately,’ he said, adding that steps should be taken to protect migrant labourers as they were more vulnerable in the countries of destinations.
Abrar, also chair of Bangladesh Civil Society for Migration (BCSM), said that many of the country’s workers were returning home with skills which should be properly utilized in the country.
WARBE Development Foundation chairman Syed Saiful Haque said that Bangladeshi workers were paid low wages abroad due to lack of their skills.
Recruiting agencies were more interested to send unskilled workers to easily exploit them, he said, adding that there was no visible initiative of the government to groom skilled workers for overseas jobs.
Ovibashi Karmi Unnayan Program chairman Shakirul Islam said that the government has taken many programmes in papers for reintegration of the returnee migrants but there was no existence in reality.
He urged the government to take immediate steps to bring the vulnerable migrants under the social safety-net programmes.
BASUG country director in Finland Mojibur Doftori said that diaspora communities, who were scattered across the world, should be involved with the country’s development activities in Bangladesh.
He noted that Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Muhammad Yunus and Sir Fazle Hasan Abed were migrants and they have achieved knowledge and contributed to changing the societies.
Migration expert Asif Munir moderated the workshop, addressed among others by INAFI executive director Mahbuba Haque, Bangladeshi Ovhibashi Mohila Sramik Association director Farida Yeasmin, Film4Peace foundation executive director Pervez Siddiqui, Solidarity Center’s program officer Aysha Akter, Helvetas Bangladesh’ representative Farhadul Alam and Sarowat Binte Islam of Manusher Jonno Foundation.