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Saturday, January 13, 2018

Awareness to reduce repression against migrant workers stressed

City Desk :

Speakers at a workshop underscored the need for providing proper training as well as creating more awareness to reduce repression against Bangladeshi female migrant workers.
They made the call while addressing the national advocacy workshop titled "Fair and Ethical Recruitment Practice of Female Migrant Workers" held recently at a
hotel in the city.
Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU) organised the workshop in association with WIF Project under International Labour Organisation (ILO).
Full Time Member of National Human Rights Commission Bangladesh Md Nazrul Islam addressed the workshop as the chief guest while Adjunct Senior Research Fellow of RMMRU and Associate Professor of International Relations Department of Dhaka University Dr ASM Ali Ashraf presented the key-note paper.  Deputy Director, ILO country office, Gagan Rajbhandari, BAIRA Joint Secretary Shamim Ahmed Chowdhury Noman, INCIDIN Bangladesh Policy Analyst Advocate Rafiqul Islam Khan Alam, BMET Director (Training) Dr Md Nurul Islam, Ovibashi Karmi Unnayan Programme (OKUP) Chairman Shakirul Islam, Kormojibi Nari Executive Director Rokeya Rafeque and Women's Economic Empowerment Programme, Bangladesh Country Office, UN Women, Programme Analyst Tapati Saha, among others, addressed the workshop.
Nazrul Islam said the domestic female migrant workers are the most vulnerable group of the country.
According to the ILO, 53 million women and girls around the world are employed as domestic workers in private households.  Despite important role in household chores, they are being the victims of exploitation and abuse across the globe, he said, adding they often work 14 to 18 hours a day, seven days a week with the wages which are far below than the baseline of minimum wage.
Policymakers and other stakeholders must adopt a gender-sensitive and rights based approach in developing labour migration laws and policies, Nazrul, said, adding the national and local laws and policies should be evolved to guarantee the human rights equally both for men and women.  Female workers should attain training as well as be aware of their basic rights to avoid such repression and abuse, he further added.  Other speakers said women migrant workers are particularly at risk of discrimination, abuse and exploitations. They receive wages that are under the minimum baseline and are also victims of fraudulent practices, excessive working hours and even confinement by their employers.  Sexual harassment, threats and intimidation against them are the common phenomenon against them, they said.
They are often denied the most basic labour protections, personal security and healthcare, they added.