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Protect our workers abroad

  • Published at 03:23 pm October 5th, 2018
Photo: MEHEDI HASAN
Photo: MEHEDI HASAN

There are men and women who take this incredible risk and go overseas to provide for their families

There can be no denying that our migrant workers play a significant role in the country’s continued development. 

Up until April of this year, overseas workers have contributed over $4.5 billion to Bangladesh’s economy, remaining one of the biggest contributors in this regard. 

This is despite the fact that, within the first eight months of 2018, manpower exports to the Middle East have dropped by almost 50%. 

But, at this point, the fact that fewer and fewer people are willing to make that perilous journey to a foreign nation should come as no surprise.

In the past, stories of abuse had been all too common, and they continue to be common. There are men and women who take this incredible risk and go overseas to provide for their families, only to experience violence, sexual abuse, and general maltreatment at the hands of their employers.

While there are other factors, such as the higher cost of migration and a lack of expected jobs and salaries, the overall culture of mistreatment that these workers face once they reach the Middle East must be stopped. 

And the reason this problem persists is because, while it is nice and easy to accept the remittance that comes in, we as a nation should also have their backs once they reach these foreign lands. 

Our diplomatic centres have a duty to ensure that our migrant workers remain a priority, not only because they contribute so much to the economy, but because as citizens of Bangladesh and as people, they deserve the right to be treated with respect and humanity.