‘It will be helpful for returnee migrants if we can loan them money for small business ventures,’ says lawmaker Tanvir Shakil Joy
The authorities concerned should develop a reintegration program for returning migrant workers, as they often face difficulties in finding employment commensurate with their experience after coming back to Bangladesh, speakers at a conference have said.
They also recommended formulating a real-time database as the official numbers and the actual numbers of migrants were not the same.
The speakers made the remarks at the two-day-long virtual conference on “Reintegration of Returning Migrants Affected by the Covid-19 Pandemic”, arranged by the Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU), on Tuesday.
“We need an actual database of returnee migrants,” said Barrister Anisul Islam Mahmud, chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment.
“Our embassies and missions should be in a position to collect the data available and must look into other ways as the official number of migrants and the actual number are not the same,” he added.
Saying that the reintegration of women returnees was difficult as they returned to their villages and their work experience was not compatible with their society, the lawmaker suggested that they could be re-educated or re-skilled in the areas of teaching, handicrafts, etc. “It is easier to train them in work that can be done at home.”
In his comments, Tanvir Shakil Joy, member of the Parliamentarians’ Caucus on Migration and Development, said: “Returnee migrants have a tendency to spend their savings on purchasing luxurious items instead of making an investment. We need formal institutions to help them preserve their earnings and ensure a better future for them.”
“It is difficult for them to get a job here after returning. So if we can provide them with loans for small businesses, it will be more helpful for them,” the ruling party lawmaker added.
CR Abrar, RMMRU executive director and professor at Dhaka University, presided over the concluding session of the conference.