• Saturday, Aug 08, 2020
  • Last Update : 03:37 am

Let them work

  • Published at 10:54 pm July 11th, 2019

Desperation breeds criminality

The Rohingya living in southern Bangladesh are passing their days in inhuman conditions. They are confined to the restraints of the refugee camps. They are not allowed to work. They are not allowed to learn Bangla. They are not allowed to marry Bangladeshis. And most importantly, they are not allowed to leave the confines of the camp. 

This has lead to a desperate situation. As such, the refugees have to find a living in extralegal means. That is why they are going down to the path of criminality. They are trafficking drugs, they are getting involved in robberies and terrorist activities. This is only natural. 

The conditions they are living in are desperate, and desperate situations calls for desperate measures. When the only means of earning becomes relying on extralegal means, it is very predictable that they would rely on such means to earn a living.

Rohingya are the most persecuted group in the world. They have faced inhuman conditions inside the borders of Myanmar. They have come to Bangladesh in the hopes of a better future. However, if that dream is denied and they are kept in captivity, they will have no other choice but to make their own luck in any way possible. And that is not good news for Bangladesh.

However, if we find a way to free them from the confines of the refugee camps and give them a chance to work inside the borders of the country with proper identification, it would be better for both our own economy and their livelihood. They can work as small businessmen, agricultural workers, fishermen, traders, transportation operators, and other professions.

Working immigrants always bring about positive results for the host country. Other countries in the world have found great benefits in employing migrant workers. According to American Libertarian think-tank Marcatus Centre, immigrants strengthen the US economy by filling key jobs in important industries, starting businesses, filing patents, creating new products, and keeping America demographically younger.

The same could happen for Bangladesh too. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), migrant workers increase GDP per person and improve productivity. A survey conducted by Eurofund has found that migrant workers’ skills allow businesses to expand their workforce, to fulfill existing contracts, and to take on more work. 

Giving the Rohingya refugees work permits will not only improve the economy, it will also decrease criminal activities and terrorism. It will give the Rohingya a way to earn an honest living and integrate into the society of their host country. It may also breed a unique form of entrepreneurship among the Rohingya women as they may engage in the cottage industry.

The Rohingya are already working and they have proven that they are good and honest workers. An investigation by Women’s Wear Daily has found that thousands of Rohingya are working in garment factories in secret in Chittagong. If they are given work permits, they can come out of hiding, work legally, and contribute to the economy.

Migrant workers do not put a strain on the economy, they benefit it. They do not drain the social safety net, they enrich the society. It is time for us to get out of our xenophobia and give our guests a chance. 

Anupam Debashis Roy is a Sub-editor at Dhaka Tribune.

blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail