Bangladesh, ILO sign deal to protect migrant workers

Diplomatic Correspondent

28 March, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Bangladesh and the International Labour Organization (ILO) on Saturday signed a deal to ensure decent work for millions of migrant workers.

They also launched to roll out three online-based reporting platforms to help skill and protect migrant workers.

The data collected will also help the government to shape better informed polices for migrant workers.

Dr. Ahmed Munirus Saleheen, Secretary of the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment and Tuomo Poutiainen, Country of ILO signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

 The MOU is aimed for skilling, re-skilling and up-skilling of migrant workers and skills recognition through improved capacity for skills anticipation, better qualification standards for the trainers, and improved access through e-RPL and national skills passport platforms at the event.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has further aggravated the plight of millions of migrant workers, they are potential, current or returnee workers, said the ILO in Dhaka on Saturday.

Hundreds of thousands of returnees have been laid off from their jobs overseas, posing a seismic challenge to Bangladesh’s already strained labour market, which is already contending with millions of local workers who too have lost their jobs.

“The Government is putting their highest efforts to the recognition of skills and market oriented skills training for the migrant workers”- said Imran Ahmed, Minister for Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment.

“In relation to the three online information systems that we launched Saturday, the government also wants to build the capacity of the government officials so that they are able to analyse the data and contribute in the policy decision.” he added.

ILO Country Director for Bangladesh Tuomo Poutiainen emphasised the large scale need for skills development and recognition of skills of the migrant workers.

He said that the lack of recognition of skills not only creates difficulties in getting the expected wages in the destination countries but also brings challenges for economic reintegration in the countries in origin.

The MOU launch unveiled three information management systems, which are Online Complaints Mechanism; Labour Attaché Reporting System; and Recruitment Agents Information Management System, developed with the support from ILO’s Swiss Development Cooperation funded project. The three databases are a significant step towards fulfilling the commitments of the government’s digitisation pledges                

advocated in the 8th Five Year Plan.

These systems should pave the way for more efficient and timely access to relevant information about migrant workers and recruiting agencies, even with the mobility limitations of the pandemic.

Participants from expatriate ministry, Bangladesh Technical Education Board, development partners, organisations works for the migrant workers also attended at the event.

The ILO with the support from the European Union will profile 3,000 returnee migrants and their family members for support relating to market-driven skills trainings, enterprise development and skills recognition and job placement.

A migrant workforce, that is skilled, respected and certified, has the potential to be one of the country’s most valuable financial assets.

At the same time, an enabling system towards systematic, safe and fair migration is needed. Ultimately, the more these decent hard-working men and women earn, the more their families and their beloved homeland will prosper.