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Newspaper article

Protect female migrant workers: Experts

Date

2013-03-19

Newspaper title

The Daily Star

Publisher

The Daily Star

Place published

Dhaka, Bangladesh

Full text

Manpower migration experts yesterday urged the government to lay emphasis on protection of female migrant workers in receiving countries by reinforcing a monitoring system.
Despite contributing to the remittance sent to the country, these workers can not enjoy their rights properly as their employers are compelling them to work in hazardous environments, they observed.
The experts were addressing a national consultation, “Improving work situation for women migrant workers at destination countries”, organised by the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET) with the assistance of UN Women in the capital’s Biam Foundation.
Ovibashi Karmi Unnayan Program (OKUP) Chairperson Shakirul Islam, through a presentation, pointed out the various problems facing Bangladeshi migrant workers in the destination countries.
This was due to the fact that they were being denied their rights ensured in labour laws and for lack of proper training and insufficient consular services of the government, he said.
“The female migrants become victims of exploitation by brokers and recruiting agencies in the country and of torture by their employers and replacement agencies in receiving countries,” he said.
These problems were identified through interviews of 70 returnee workers from Lebanon between April 2012 and February 2013, he said.
The female migrants were exposed to different forms of torture in their employers’ house and were later sent to Bangladesh through the assistance of Caritas, a Lebanon-based non-government organisation, he added.
UN Women Program Coordinator Mahtabul Hakim, in his presentation, highlighted that problems centring remuneration and working hours and incidents of tortures arose as both the sending and receiving countries failed to address the issues properly.
Addressing as chief guest, Secretary to the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Dr Zafar Ahmed Khan said it was a challenge for the government to ensure job opportunities for women at home and abroad for different reasons.
Admitting that the problems were present, he said the situation had improved due to joint initiatives of the government and the rights organisations.
He urged civil society members to place the issue before the receiving countries with assistance of the latter’s civil societies and rights organisations.

Links

Keywords

female migrant workers, government responsibility

Economic sectors

Occupations in services - Domestic work, Home child care providers, and Home support workers, housekeepers and related occupations

Content types

Policy analysis and Support initiatives

Target groups

Policymakers, Public awareness, and Researchers

Geographical focuses

Bangladesh

Spheres of activity

Gender and sexuality studies and Law

Languages

English