Nearly 5.5 lakh Bangladeshi migrant workers were deported by different countries in the last 10 years, Shariful Hasan, head of Brac Migration Programme, said at a workshop today.
Almost all of these migrant workers had become undocumented in the destination countries and travel pass was required for their return, Shariful said.
He said the data was prepared based on statistics maintained by Prabashi Kalyan Desk, set at airports by Wage Earners Welfare Board, and other government agencies as accurate data on the country’s returning migrant workers are not available.
Shariful said in most cases migrant workers returned because their visas expired, due to lack of job opportunities, physical and mental torture, physically unfit and sick, closure or bankruptcy of companies, and failure of their adaptation in a new environment.
“If we want to make their reintegration sustainable in the society then we have to focus on their mental health and the skills that they have accumulated,” he said.
Brac Migration Programme and International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Bangladesh organised the workshop as part of a project called “Prottasha” at Brac Centre Inn in the capital.
Hotline for migrant workers launched
The government has inaugurated a hotline service for the migrant workers of the country for their safety and benefit.
From now on the returnee and potential migrant workers will be able to get information on reintegration, referral support by dialing + 08000102030 (toll free) and + 09610102030 (Long Code), speakers said at the workshop of a joint project in Dhaka.
IOM, in partnership with Brac, is implementing the project titled 'Bangladesh: Sustainable Reintegration and improved Migration Governance- Prottasha'.
Led by the government, the project is funded by the European Union (EU).
The initiative will enable the returnee migrants, their families, community people, relevant stakeholders and potential migrants to avail 16 hours (7:00am - 11:00pm everyday) daily toll-free service.
Speaking at the programme, Shariful Hasan, head of Brac's Migration Programme, said after ending the project, the Brac will continue the hotline service.