Boosting of relations with labour importing countries stressed
Bangladesh should strengthen diplomatic relations with labour importing countries and protect rights of its workers employed abroad, said speakers at a discussion yesterday.
They said rights of migrant workers must be ensured and they should not be treated just as a way of developing the country economically.
The speakers also stressed the importance of developing skills of Bangladeshi workers so that they can compete with other nationalities.
They were addressing the discussion organised by expatriates' welfare and overseas employment ministry in the capital's Bangabandhu International Conference Centre. The programme was organised on the International Migrants Day yesterday.
Foreign Minister AH Mahmud Ali said welfare issues of migrants, including skill development, professional training and reduction of migration costs, must be dealt with utmost sincerity.
“We will have to look for new labour markets to ensure more work opportunities for our people. But there is no alternative to ensuring safe migration for them,” he said addressing as the special guest.
Addressing as the chief guest, Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain said the incumbent government had taken epoch-making steps for welfare of the migrants.
“We have reduced migration costs, eased the migration process and framed laws and ordinances to protect rights of the migrants. We have established discipline in the manpower sector removing irregularities by recruiting agencies,” he mentioned.
Expatriates' Welfare Secretary Zafar Ahmed Khan, Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque, and Director General of Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training Begum Shamsun Nahar, among others, spoke at the programme.
Some 117 children of migrant workers were given scholarships for academic purposes from the wage earners welfare fund of the overseas employment ministry.
Besides the discussion, a debate competition on contributions of migrants in the socio-economic development of Bangladesh was organised in the afternoon.
Debate for Democracy Chairman Hasan Ahmed Chowdhury Kiron moderated the programme while students of Ibais University and Dhaka International University participated.
Meanwhile, International Labor Organization Director-General Guy Ryder and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay paid a joint tribute to 232 million migrants worldwide on the day, says a press release of ILO, Bangladesh office.
Despite having migrants' contributions to economic, social and cultural development of the host countries and the workers' communities back home, these contributions go unrecognized in and outside the workplace, it said.
Earlier, to observe the day, the overseas employment ministry and some other NGOs brought out a procession from South Plaza of Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban in the morning.