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Dhaka Tribune

ED: Protecting our migrant workers from abuse

We cannot simply keep expecting remittance from these workers and offering them no support in return

Update : 10 Jan 2021, 01:26 AM

The fact that at least 68 migrant workers have returned to the country in the past two years, citing psychological issues, is extremely worrying, and must be addressed without delay.

By this point, our migrant workers facing abuse and trauma at the hands of their employers, particularly in the Gulf region, has become so commonplace that the phenomenon is almost accepted as normalcy. This, however, can never be what normalcy looks like, and it is about time that Bangladesh did a better job of protecting the rights and dignity of its workers abroad.

These expatriates, we must remember, are a cornerstone of the economy, and the remittance they send back to Bangladesh is a result of their tireless work, most often in extremely dire conditions.

As such, the very least that can be done for them is that the authorities ensure their safety and well-being, so that they can work in a dignified environment where their basic rights are respected.

This has been an issue for far too long, and it is unfortunate that we are still unable to weed out the problems from the system. This includes the unscrupulous middlemen that exist solely to exploit these poor workers, along with the faulty paperwork and visa schemes that make it difficult to separate those that are legitimate.

The government and all the relevant stakeholders and authorities concerned must make this a priority. No longer should our migrant workers, those who do so much for our country and its economy, be subjected to overcoming one hurdle after the other, all the while requiring to work in conditions and scenarios that are not suitable for human beings.

We cannot simply keep expecting remittance from these workers and offering them no support in return.

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