By Tamanna Sultana
Dhaka Tribune | 15 February 2017
Why do so many Bangladeshi migrant workers get mistreated?
Bangladesh is in its early stages of development, with very limited employment opportunities in the competitive job market. The less-educated job-seekers who fail to find jobs at home usually seek their fortune abroad. As a result, our country has become one of the countries with the highest labour exports in the world.
The remittance sent by the labourers working aboard act as a catalyst in the economic development of our country through foreign exchange. However, the lack of proper training due to improper guidance by the pre-departure training centres and fraudulent manpower agencies create a daunting overall experience that our migrant workers face abroad.
Being the citizen of a developing country, trapped in the vicious circle of poverty, it is obvious that most of our migrant workers are less skilled, less educated, and less trained than other workers in the same category — but in order to reduce the vulnerability of migrant workers and to enable them to maximise benefits from overseas employment, various pre-departure orientation programs are provided by the government such as mandatory pre-departure, mandatory 21-day training in house-keeping for female workers, three-day pre-departure for workers selected to migrate, and many more.
The programs impart briefings about the host country’s natural environment, nature of job, terms and conditions of the contract, language, law and regulations, food and beverages, working and living conditions, “dos and don’ts” in the destination country, migrant rights, hygiene and safety, life-skills orientation, support mechanism in the destination country, finance management, and basic banking knowledge. Certification of pre-departure briefing is needed before issuing a smart card for every outbound migrant worker.
Now the question is, how effective are these trainings?
Before receiving the smart card, all the migrant labourers are bound to attend the three-day training program in order to become aware of many factors related to the host country.