Monday, June 24, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

ED: Averting a crisis within a crisis

Most of their home countries will not have the capacity to incorporate them back into their own economies once they return

Update : 25 Jun 2020, 08:01 PM

It should come as no surprise that millions of migrant workers across the world will be forced to return home in the wake of the pandemic -- a fact that is especially true for Bangladesh whose export of labour remains one of the biggest contributors to its economy.

What this also means is that, not only will millions of workers now be put at risk to exposure of the coronavirus, but also that they will return home with no employment, potentially forcing them into poverty.

Those who do stay are facing a different sort of crisis -- that of being stranded in a foreign country, either working for reduced pay or not working at all, struggling to make ends meet.

This is why it is extremely important that Bangladesh keeps this factor in mind moving forward and seeks avenues of cooperation with other nations in order to ensure that these people are not left to paddle a boat without an oar.

As experts have said, most of their home countries -- and this applies to Bangladesh as well -- will not have the capacity, not immediately at least, to incorporate them back into their own economies once they return and, as such, any social safety nets suggested by the government must also take their return into consideration.

Without appropriate infrastructure in place -- an orderly reintegration system, easy access to social protection, and proper skills recognition -- we will be potentially facing a different sort of crisis on top of the one we are already facing currently.

Our migrant workers make immense sacrifices in order to provide for their families and keep our economy running, and it is our duty to ensure that we do not leave them behind. 

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