Bangladeshi Migrant Workers’ Rights within Bangladesh’s Foreign Policy Context

Lamia afrin

Bangladeshi Migrant Workers' Rights within Bangladesh's Foreign Policy Context

In the era of globalization, the number of migrant workers is increasing day by day. Bangladeshi migrant workers are migrating mainly to the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Europe, and North America. Migrant workers and human rights are inextricably linked. Because migrant workers are human beings like everyone else. They deserve due respect and protection.

Human rights are the rights that one can claim as a result of being born as a human being that help people leads a dignified and meaningful life. Human rights are the rights which is the birthright of people, protect them from oppression, uphold their dignity as human beings, cannot be taken away without special reason, guarantee the state and the rights are interrelated.

International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (1990)”- The Convention deals with the rights of migrant workers in 91 articles. It is the responsibility of the Country of Origin and the Country of Employment to ensure that. The rights of migrant workers are not being ensured by the states thereby violating their human rights.


Migrant Worker: 

A migrant worker is a person who plans to go or is engaged in work in another country for short-term or long-term work and will return to his home country. According to the Foreign Employment and Migrant Act, 2013 “Migrant Worker” means a citizen of Bangladesh who has prepared to go to another country for the purpose of employment or has traveled, is engaged in any employment, or returns to Bangladesh after having engaged in any employment or not has come.


Types of Migrant Workers

There are two types of migrant workers:
1. Documented Migrant Workers
2. Undocumented Migrant Workers

Moreover, according to “International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (1990)”- there are several types of migrant workers based on nature of work. Such as-
1. Frontier Worker
2. Seasonal worker
3. Seafarer
4. Project-tied worker and
5. Self-employed worker

Bangladeshi migrant workers face several problems in abroad. Such as:
1. High Migration Cost: A Bangladeshi migrant worker has to pay TK 6,50,000 to TK. 7,50,000 for going Saudi Arabia and Tk. 5,55,000 to 6,50,000 to go and work in Lebanon.
Source: Mahmud, Jamil. (2022, December 14). 88pc female migrants get no job contracts. The Daily Star.

2. Low skilled jobs: Most of the female migrant workers are employed in domestic work and men in the arduous and dangerous construction sector because of their lack of skill, education and awareness. But ironically, women workers are coming back every month with horrific experiences of sexual or physical abuse.

3. Low wages: In Saudi Arabia, where workers from other countries get 1200 riyals, Bangladeshi workers get 800 riyals, which means they are being discriminated against.
Source: Kabir, Nurul. (2022, July 16). Bangladesh to fix minimum wage for migrant workers. New age.

4. No job Contract: Many have moved abroad with only verbal commitments from recruiters and employers. About 88 percent of women migrants in Bangladesh did not get any job contract.

5. Death of Bangladeshi migrant workers during travel: 7 Bangladeshis died of extreme cold on the way from Libya to the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa.

6. Bangladeshi migrant workers are subjected to false accusations and arrests resulting in many deaths. Many others have returned destitute and burdened with debt.

7. Migrant workers are being exploited by employers and intermediaries.

8. Women workers are subjected to physical and sexual abuse.

9. Many migrant workers are forced to live in captivity so that they are unable to maintain contact with their families.

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