Migration has to be a choice and the migrant workers should go abroad after having adequate skill and information to make their overseas employment more successful, said Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Ministry’s Secretary Dr Ahmed Munirus Saleheen.
He made the remarks while speaking at a programme in Bangladesh-Korea Technical Training Center on Saturday and underscored the need for playing “share responsibility” by all stakeholders including migrant workers themselves to ensure safe, orderly and regular migration.
Bangladesh Nari Sramik Kendra (BNSK) in collaboration with EWOE Ministry, Bureau of Manpower, Employment Training, UNWOMEN, Uniliver and Badaban organized launching ceremony on “Protecting vulnerable Women Returnee Migrant Workers from COVID Risk through putting them into center of prevention and response service.”
Speaking as chief guest, Secretary Dr Ahmed Munirus Saleheen said that migration was a development tool and it has been benefitting host and home countries along with the migrant themselves.
Bangladesh government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been working to empower the women and has already achieved much in this regard, he said.
Dr Saleheen sought cooperation from all other multinational organizations to come forward to ensure safe migration of women workers from Bangladesh.
However, he highly lauded the initiative of the BNSK along with others for taking the risks amid pandemic to support the vulnerable women migrant workers.
BNSK, a migrant rights organization, started distributing 10,000 bags loaded with emergency materials among the distressed women workers in Dhaka city and nearby districts.
Speaking as special guest, BMET director general Shamsul Alam said that mass awareness should be created for promoting skilled migration from Bangladesh.
He said that demand of skilled workers would be increasing abroad in the upcoming days of post COVID-19 situation.
BMET director Sakhawat Ali said that COVID-19 and migration were both global challenge and the country was trying to address these. “Bangladesh is now putting higher emphasis on skill development of workers,’ he said.
Labour rights campaigners, civil society organizers and representatives from development partners took part in the discussion at the programme.
Trade union leader Abul Hossain said that they were demonstrating to protect rights of the migrant workers who were facing problems at home and abroad.
IID chief executive Syeed Ahamad emphasized on three terms “sympathy, accurate information and joint initiative” to help the people in distress.
BNSK executive director Sumaiya Islam who moderated the session said that about 6500 women migrants came back home from different countries and her organization was trying to support them.
Tapati Saha of UNWOMEN said that women migrant workers have been worst victims of COVID-19 and it was necessary to empower them immediately.
After the inaugural ceremony, women migrant workers have received the BNSK aid package from the government officials.