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Migrant workers deserve so much from us

The Daily Star, Bangladesh, 17 April 2022 - It is good to see the government establishing a dedicated centre for migrant workers to reduce the hassles they face while going abroad or returning home. It's a long-overdue initiative. Over the years, the migrants' contribution to our economy has been nothing short of extraordinary. In the last fiscal year alone, Bangladesh received remittances worth USD 24.77 billion because of its migrant workers. Yet, we have seen these same people being exploited year after year both at home and abroad, without anyone so much as batting an eyelash. That is very unfortunate given how much they've sacrificed and the vital role they've played in turning Bangladesh into a developing country.

According to a report published in this newspaper on April 16, the centre will hold pre-departure briefings for outbound workers on issues related to destination countries and different services offered by the Wage Earners' Welfare Board (WEWB). Returning workers will also be briefed on reintegration for socio-economic development. Migrant workers coming from outside of Dhaka can stay at the centre for a maximum of two nights before boarding their flights out of the country. This will surely be helpful to many. However, the number of workers that it can currently accommodate—only 50—should be increased. Similarly, workers who land at the Dhaka airport can also find accommodation at the centre using their necessary paperwork. This will be of particular help to migrant workers who fly into the country late at night, as it is even more difficult for them to arrange decent accommodation.



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