Create funds, launch financial instruments | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 07, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:53 AM, April 07, 2021

Create funds, launch financial instruments

Suggest parliamentarians for reintegration of migrant workers affected by Covid-19

Parliamentarians of different Asian countries yesterday suggested for creating funds and launching financial instruments to ensure sustainable reintegration of migrant workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Pointing on migrant workers' immense contribution for the development of both the countries of origin and destination, they called for forming regional forums to address issues related to returnee reintegration.

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They came up with the suggestions during the concluding session of the two-day "International Conference on Reintegration of Returnee Migrants Affected by Covid-19 Pandemic".

Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU) in collaboration with Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA) and British Council's project Promoting Knowledge for Accountable Systems (Prokas) organised the conference virtually.

Addressing the concluding session, Anisul Islam Mahmud, chairman of the parliamentary committee on expatriates' welfare and overseas employment ministry, proposed that Bangladesh government should give a one percent incentive alongside the existing two-percent incentive against remittance sent by migrant workers.

The money of one-percent incentive could be allocated for creating a fund for returnees' reintegration, he said.

Anisul stressed that migrants' reintegration has to be inclusive from all aspects -- from social to psychological -- as well as at the family level.

Charles Santiago, a member of parliament of Malaysia, said a saving instrument for migrant workers could be initiated once they reach the host countries so that they can take back the savings when they return home.

Santiago said roles of the governments in both receiving and destination countries are important to ensure reintegration of returnee migrants.

Stressing the need for "classification" of returnee migrants, Shameem Haider Patwary, chairperson of Bangladesh Parliamentarians' Caucus on Migration and Development (BPCMD), said a parliamentary sub-committee could be formed to address the issue of returnee reintegration.

He also said returnee migrants who are skilled in foreign languages could be employed as language instructor at different training institutions.

Financial institutions in Bangladesh including Bangladesh Bank can launch separate financial instruments only for the returnee migrants, said BPCMD member Tanveer Shakil Joy.

BPCMD Secretary General and former parliamentarian Mahjabeen Khaled suggested for forming regional caucuses of South Asian and Southeast Asian countries to ensure wellbeing of migrant workers.

BPCMD member Rana Mohammad Sohail and parliamentarian Dila Sangraula of Nepal also addressed the session.    

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