Migrant workers, once no longer employed overseas, had little in the way of support from their own motherland
It is no stretch to say that Bangladesh’s economy owes a great deal to migrant workers, whose tireless work to send remittance back home account for a significant proportion of our GDP, and after the RMG industry, stands as the second highest source of foreign currency earnings for Bangladesh.
However, the Covid-19 pandemic has compelled many of our migrants to return home, and it is a shame that, as far as supporting them with employment or opportunities, and capitalizing on the skills they have learned on foreign shores, we are largely failing.
As per a recent research study jointly conducted by Brac, UN Women Bangladesh, and the Centre on International Cooperation at New York University, 77% of the returnee migrants in Bangladesh were struggling to find jobs between April and November last year, and among the migrant households with returnees, 61% had at least one member who lost a job or earning opportunity during the pandemic.
Such numbers paint a grim picture of the situation in the country, one which showcases how migrant workers, once no longer employed overseas, had little in the way of support from their own motherland. This is an extremely disheartening reality, and is no way to treat workers who go through so much adversity in order to support their families and the economy at large.
To that end, as experts have suggested, a recovery plan to support and provide them with economic opportunities, so as to ensure that the skills they have learned are put to use to help our economy, is the need of the hour. Migrant workers have always supported our growing economy and it is time the economy supported them back.