Bangladesh government has decided to collect data on returnee migrant workers at immigration and preserve those for providing the returnees with different support in the future.
For this purpose, a five-member committee has been formed comprising of the expatriates' welfare ministry, home ministry, foreign ministry, Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh, and the Department of Immigration and Passports.
According to Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Ministry, the committee will work to ensure quick data management in the immigration's system, EWOE Minister Imran Ahmad said after an inter-ministerial meeting held virtually on Thursday.
Additional secretary (security and immigration) of the Security Services Division of the home ministry will be the convener of the committee, the minister also said.
The meeting was held to find a way to develop an integrated database on returnee migrant workers, said the Ministry press release.
Imran Ahmad, who chaired the meeting, said preserving detailed information of returnee migrant workers was a necessity for their socio-economic reintegration.
He also said the information can be on when the worker went abroad, what type of job they were involved in, for how long they had been home, and what type of work they want to do in the country.
Migrant workers are contributing significantly in the country's economy by sending remittance, the minister added.
When asked, Independent Peace activist and migrant’s rights campaigner Pervez Siddiqui told Migration News that though the government should take such initiative much more earlier but late decision of collecting data of returnees was highly appreciated.
He said that accurate data of the migrants could help the authorities ensure transparency on disbursing the funds and taking reintegration programmes for the migrants.
The UN member states agreed on the goals of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) that compassed a total of 23 objectives for better managing migration at local, national, regional and global levels.
The Objective 1 of the GCM begins with a commitment to collect and utilize accurate and disaggregated data as a basis for evidence-based policies.
Meanwhile, over 100,000 Bangladeshi migrant workers who were affected by COVID-19 have returned home from different foreign countries since April 1.
According to Bangladesh government data released on August 31, at least 88,406 male and 6,656 female Bangladeshi workers who lost their jobs due to global Covid-19 pandemic came back home up to August 26through Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.
The affected migrant workers would get investment credit with 4% interest from a fund of Tk 700 crore created by the government of Bangladesh, said officials.
They also said that the government has earmarked nearly Tk10 crore ‘emergency food and other assistance’ for vulnerable expatriate Bangladeshi workers.
The family of each expatriate Bangladesh workers who already have expired due to Covid-19 infection will get Tk3 lakh as soon as possible.
‘The government will give certificates and recognition to the skilled jobless Bangladeshi foreign workers who have been affected due to the world-wide pandemic and the poor Bangladeshi workers and their family members will be brought under the social safety net program,’ the officials added.
The highest Bangladeshi foreign workers have been returned from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as a total of 25,653 workers—where 24,553 are male and the rest 1100 are female.
Some 15,389 Bangladeshi workers have returned from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) where 13,796 male and 1,593 female. Most of the Bangladeshi workers in the KSA have returned to the country with ‘outpass’ after imprisonment in different jail terms.
From Maldives, a total of 7,909 expatriate Bangladeshi workers returned to the country as Maldives is a tourist-prone country and that’s why the people lost their jobs under corona pandemic.
The Jobless Bangladeshi workers have also returned from Singapore, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, South Africa, Qatar, Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand, Myanmar, Jordan, Iraq, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Italy, Lebanon, Russia, Mauritius, Turkey, Nepal, Hong Kong, Cambodia and Japan during this time.