Protifolon: Facing the challenges of labour migration from Bangladesh

Protifolon: Facing the challenges of labour migration from Bangladesh

Protecting Bangladesh's migrant labourers

This 4th edition of the Protifolon series sheds light on important reforms and actions concerning labour migration from Bangladesh. It is clear that the government has undertaken serious reforms in certain areas but new areas are constantly emerging. The government may consider declaring 2012-2021 the decade of migration and undertake necessary policies and programmes to face the emerging challenges in the  migration sector and to promote safe labour migration from Bangladesh.

The edition details major reforms initiated by the government to protect its workers overseas, most notably the Overseas Employment Act 2011. The Act upholds the principle of non-discrimination and makes provisions for emergency return of migrants in case of crisis in the destination country. The 2006 Overseas Employment Policy - the first of its kind in South Asia - commits the government to reducing irregular flows and increasing the scope of regular migration from all areas of Bangladesh.

The major challenges of labour migration from Bangladesh are outlined. These include non-payment or delayed payment of wages, physical violence and arbitrary deportation. The global financial crisis and upheaval in North Africa and the Middle East have negatively affected labour migration from Bangladesh as competition for entry in to the labour market has become tougher.

The edition makes a number of recommendations to ensure effective and equitable labour migration from Bangladesh.