Protect migrant workers from middlemen: PM

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. File photo

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today asked the authorities concerned to be mindful so that the people who have gone abroad to attract good luck do not end up being cheated by middlemen.

"We've to give a special attention so that no one is cheated by middlemen. We've the responsibility to look after their security and welfare because they're our citizens," she said.

The prime minister was delivering her introductory speech at the first meeting of the National Steering Committee on Migration held at her office.

She also emphasised creating skilled manpower before sending them abroad.

"In Bangladesh, we still have the youth, which is a big power for us. We've to make them skilled through provide them training. We'll not send labourers only, we will send skilled workforce," she said.

Regarding the sending of female workforce abroad, Sheikh Hasina said female workers are going to many countries.

"But are these female workers capable of handling these kinds of works? We've to take care of this as well," she said.

Hasina also said if anyone goes abroad without receiving training that person would not able to perform the work.

"So, they will ultimately face oppression. We've taken various initiatives to stop this, but people fall prey to middlemen," she said.

The Prime Minister emphasised raising public awareness so that people are never cheated by middlemen. Middlemen often lure the innocent rural people, she pointed out.

"They take a hefty amount of money from people and send them abroad. After that they put pressure on their relatives for more money. This sort of irregularity is a common phenomenon in the country," she said.

The Prime Minister said a stronger monitoring system is needed to stop the deception of workers who are going abroad. The workers are sending a large amount of remittance which is contributing to reducing poverty and increasing the foreign currency reserve.

"Prepare a database of people going abroad for jobs with details such as where they are going and for which work," she said.

Sheikh Hasina said the government is trying to convince people to not approach brokers and go abroad by registering through the digital centres.

The government has established Probashi Kallayan Bank (Expatriate Welfare Bank) so that the people can get loans from the bank to go abroad, she said.

The prime minister called upon the media to play an effective role to this end.

She also said in future, Bangladesh might not send manpower abroad as the country will need skilled manpower since it is setting up 100 special economic zones and developing information communication technology sector.

Ministers, secretaries and other officials concerned were present at the meeting.