December 30, 2022
DHAKA – With over 10.29 lakh migrant workers going abroad till November, overseas employment this year is likely to see nearly an 82 percent increase compared to last year, says a new report by Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU).
The government needs to put more focus on developing the skill-sets of workers, and it is working to this end. If vocational training and certifications under those projects are sped up, it will be possible to send skilled and semi-skilled workers again.
Prof Tasneem Siddiqui RMMRU founding chair
Last year, 6.17 lakh migrant workers went abroad for employment, says the report, titled “The Patterns and Trends of Labour Migration from Bangladesh in 2022: Achievements and Challenges”, conducted using government data.
RMMRU shared the report during a press conference in the capital’s Jatiya Press Club.
RMMRU Founding Chair Prof Tasneem Siddiqui said about 79 percent of migrant workers this year have gone abroad as “less-skilled” workers.
Most people who collected visas through family connections migrated as “less-skilled” workers, she said.
She stressed that the government needs to put more focus on developing the skill-sets of workers, and it is working to this end.
If vocational training and certifications under those projects are sped up, it will be possible to send skilled and semi-skilled workers again, she added.
Prof Tasneem also mentioned that as this year, Bangladesh saw a significant jump in overseas employment, it is likely that its positive impact will be seen in the remittance inflow next year.
For a fresh migrant, it requires at least six to 12 months to settle down in the host country and then start sending remittance home, she added.
The report says as of November this year, 99,684 female workers have gone abroad. At the end of the year, female migration is likely to see a 35.7 percent increase.
It also mentions that the wage earners’ welfare board has brought back the dead bodies of 3,222 migrant workers from abroad this year as of November.
Addressing the press conference, National Human Rights Commission Chairman Kamal Uddin Ahmed said these deaths are “unfortunate”.
In many cases, after the death of a migrant worker, a “heart attack” is shown as the reason for the death despite their young age, he said.
He added the Bangladesh missions abroad and the expatriates’ welfare ministry must take a collective effort in preparing an accurate record of the deaths of migrant workers.
The real reasons behind the deaths also need to be known and attempts of appropriate action should be taken where necessary, he added.