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65% female migrant workers victims of violence: IOM

24 June 2013 - Dhaka Tribune. According to a recent study conducted by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), 65% of female migrant workers face violence one way or the other in their host countries.

According to a recent study conducted by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), 65% of female migrant workers face violence one way or the other in their host countries.

The study revealed that, most women are victims of physical abuse, encounter language barriers and in general are unable to adjust to the foreign communities the live in as a result of the cultural differences they experience.

Assault and verbal abuse were almost common occurrences for the subjects of the study. Some female migrant workers who have returned to Bangladesh have alleged that they were denied medical treatment for health complications that resulted from physical abuse and overwork or even for sickness.

The study was based on 101 returnees, focus group discussions and key informants’ interviews.

The results of the study were disclosed at a meeting that was held in Dhaka on Sunday entitled “Women returnees of Bangladesh: insights into improving the employment experience and opportunities in reintegration.”

The Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET) and the IOM jointly hosted the programme.

In the study, 67% of the returnees allege that they did not receive their payments on time.

Over 67% of the female workers who returned from abroad say they received no training before departure for their destination countries. About 50% of them admit to not having any education or training before traveling abroad.

Discussants at the study-dissemination ceremony question the authenticity of the findings as the study was carried out on just 101 returnees when 38,000 females migrated to different countries only in 2012.

Begum Shamsun Nahar, BMET director general and chief guest at the event, said it seems the statistics of female migrant workers who have been victims of violence could be much higher than the study had shown.

“We are working to improve the situation, and whenever we sign the MoU we will include insurance, security and protection of the rights of the migrant workers,” she said, adding that during the agreement with Hong Kong and Jordan these were included.

Concerning the still low rate of training for female migrant workers in spite of the fact that it has been made mandatory, the director general said it must be looked into.

The study revealed that the female migration from Bangladesh has been on the increase recently.

The director general said it is true that there are very few programmes established to help returning migrant workers reintegrate into life in Bangladehs.

Senior officials of the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment and the BMET, representatives from the IOM and the ILO, recruiting agents and non-governmental organisations were present at the programme.

Source: http://www.dhakatribune.com/labour/2013/jun/24/65-female-migrant-workers-victims-violence-iom

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