We laud the government's latest decision to sign Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRA) with different countries and regional bodies so that international recognition of Bangladeshi migrant workers' skills certifications can be made possible. Such agreements are required to ensure robust inclusion of Bangladeshi workers in the global market. The Additional Director General (training) of Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET) has mentioned a significant point justifying this decision, which is that providing training will not be enough if the worker's certificate is not accepted in the global market. It is encouraging to see our government officials thinking pragmatically on how to improve the job prospects of migrant workers.
According to Bangladesh Employers' Federation (BEF), Bangladeshi migrant workers in the Middle East earn a third of their Sri Lankan and half of their Indian counterparts' wages. This immense gap can be reduced by issuing proper certification to the workers. Besides, skills training of migrant workers, especially for women migrant workers, will help them to get better paying jobs. At a meeting held on September 22, 2019, Bangladesh Mahila Parishad's (BMP) then acting Secretary Rekha Chowdhury stated that around 5,000 complaints of harassment, deception, physical abuse and rape had been filed by female migrant workers, mostly returning from Saudi Arabia, between the years 2017-2019. According to a report in this daily, a total of 437 bodies of women migrant workers have been received by the Bangladeshi authorities between 2016 and 2020. One way to reduce these unacceptable consequences is to provide migrant workers with adequate knowledge of the type of jobs and skills training that they will be recruited for and the professional responsibilities that will be associated with them.
However, the government has to be alert about the issuing of fake certificates for financial gains. The concerned authorities have to guarantee that no innocent migrant worker will be deceived while securing a professional certificate through their hard-earned money. Also, necessary checks have to be made so that vested quarters cannot avail a monopoly over the certificate issuing process by using their links with influential figures. The whole affair has to be transparent and systematic in order to be effective and to truly benefit our migrant workers.