Activists Demand Protection of Migrants’ Rights

Migrant and labour rights activists on Tuesday called for ratification of ILO Convention 189 and 190 to protect rights of domestic workers at home and at destination countries.

They made the observation at a consultation on ‘Human Rights of Bangladeshi Women Migrants’ and their Protection: Need to Ratify ILO Convention 189 and 190’ held at the National Press Club.

WARBE Development Foundation organised the event on the occasion of International Human Rights Day. Rights campaigners, trade union and workers, among others were present at the programme.

Before consultation, a human chain was formed in front of Press Club where they demanded protection of rights of migrant workers.

Help for Disability and Distress Chief Executive Shemanta Sheraz demanded protection of the rights of all migrant workers at home and abroad.

Speaking at discussion, Trade Union leader Abul Hosain said that though Bangladesh government had signed the ILO conventions few years ago but it could not ratify the conventions.

Expressing solidarity to protection human rights of all oppressed people across the globe, he said that the international conventions was framed for ensuring protections and decent workers for workers. 

Morsheda Aktar, general secretary of The National Domestic Women Workers Union said the NHRC fails to help protection of workers’ human rights.

So far, the commission could not keep notable contribution for workers including women domestic workers, she said.

‘So, why such rights body is needed in the country,’ she posed a question.

WARBE DF chairman Syed Saiful Haque moderated the event also reiterated that the NHRC should raise rights-based issues of migrant workers properly.

It should also extend necessary cooperation so that victimised workers get justice and supports, he said.

Haque also called for ratifying International Labour Law (ILO) convention 189 and 190 for the protection of women.

He said if Bangladesh ratifies ILO convention 189, then it can also raise voice about rights and benefits for its domestic workers staying abroad.

Sarwowat Binte Islam, programme  manager of Manusher Jonno Foundation said the ILO conventions 189 is for the rights of domestic workers and 190 for elimination of discrimination, violence for women.

So, both the conventions should be ratified by the government immediately, she added.

The rights activists also demanded for a separate law for the country’s domestic workers for their legal protection.

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