‘Their plight must be addressed’
State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam yesterday said Bangladeshi migrant workers are facing inflation in Lebanon which needs to be addressed.
"Look at Lebanon… where the currency was devaluated like 50 times," he said, addressing a workshop at a Dhaka hotel as chief guest.
This newspaper published separate reports on December 22 and March 20 last year on the economic hardship of thousands of Bangladeshi workers in Lebanon.
In his speech, Shahriar Alam said when the migrant workers in Lebanon convert their local earnings into dollar it's actually less compared to what they used to send back home. "I think we need to address the issue… We need to find a way to keep them [migrants] encouraged and interested to work," he added.
Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit organised the workshop on "Impact of Migration on Transformation to Sustainability: Poverty and Local Development in Bangladesh".
The state minister said the country needs to upskill and re-skill its migrant labour force, adding, Bangladeshi migrants are still one of the lowest paid in the world.
Chairing the session, economist Hossain Zillur Rahman said Bangladesh has benefited very much from migration and over time both incrementally and strategically made many policy innovations. Besides, Bangladesh has now globally a very respectable identity in terms of its engagement on migration issues, he said.
RMMRU Founding Chair Prof Tasneem Siddiqui and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation's Director of Cooperation Suzanne Muller also spoke.