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Saturday, August 10, 2019

Save migrant workers from fraudulent recruiting agencies and middlemen

NEWSPAPER reports said the government wants to bring the middlemen under legal framework to reduce the costs and harassment of migrant workers. But the Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies has strongly opposed the move. Though the expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Ministry held several meetings with the BAIRA leaders, they failed to reach an agreement in this regard. The Ministry officials categorically blamed that they could not make the BAIRA leaders agree to bring their middlemen under legal framework. That means, the middlemen have already formed a strong syndicate in connivance with some BAIRA leaders and dishonest officials of Ministry concerned. There may be a large-scale financial involvement of syndicate members and for that reason they are very much united to fulfil their unlawful desire.  
BAIRA Secretary General said the attempts to bring middlemen under legal framework by Sri Lanka and Pakistan have apparently failed. It's a big question -- when the government has failed to monitor about 1,400 registered recruiting agencies how it would control thousands of middlemen? He said they have requested the government to introduce a central database of workers involving the registered recruiting agencies. Apart from making the overall process secured, the database of the workers would reduce the migration cost.
We must say the recruiting agencies should get their middlemen registered to reduce fraudulent practices. In that case, the middlemen should have their geographical area of operation specified. Even photo identification should be made compulsory for them and their names should be displayed in Thana and Union Parishad offices. At the same time, all financial transactions should be mandatory to make through banks. Side by side, the middlemen and agencies must issue money receipts for receiving any payment from the workers.
Usually we see that the middlemen increase the cost of migration. According to a World Bank report, Bangladeshi workers pay highest cost in the World for migration. Often it is seen that, migrant workers return home losing all their money being cheated by the middlemen and fraudulent recruiting agencies.  Several hundred Bangladeshi workers are also languishing in foreign jails due to the same reason.  We think, it's the duty of government to make the recruiting agencies and the middlemen accountable.