Security of migrant women were emphasized
On back of repeated allegations of torture and abuse against migrant women in the labour market of the middle eastern countries, speakers at a seminar emphasized the need for improved safety and security of female expatriates.
They voiced their concern at the national consultation on “Gender-responsive Sustainable Approaches to Human Mobility” held at the Wage Earner’s Welfare Board conference room at Probashi Kallyan Bhaban in Eskaton Garden in Dhaka yesterday.
The consultation was held ahead of the 12th Global Forum of Migration and Development (GFMD) scheduled to take place between November 18 to 20 in Quito, Ecuador.
“Bangladeshi women workers need not to pay any fee to go abroad. It is a good breakthrough for the future of our migration. We do not want to send them only as maids but are hopeful to send the people with technical skills such as nurses, seals executives, or garments workers,” said Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Secretary Md Salim Reza while addressing the program as chief guest.
Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment, UN Migration Network, and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) for Global Commitments on Migration (CGCM) jointly organized the panel discussion.
The political and economic changes in both the western and middle eastern countries have increased an anti-migrant narrative, while the advancement and automation of industries has been changing the global market for workers, speakers at the event said.
“We will work together with all stakeholders to ensure gender responsive sustainable approaches towards secured migration. Before that we need to emphasize in skills development of migration seekers,” he said.
He added: “We have the capacity to meet Japanese criteria which is a developed country. We would like to bring changes to the migration scenario.”
Shoko Ishikawa, country representative to UN Women while addressing as special guest said: “Female migrants are working hard abroad but their remittances are low as they are not paid well. They have to sustain themselves through hard situations.”
“Women migrant workers should raise their voice against their problems so that the concerned authorities could take steps. Concerned authorities from the government should prioritize the needs of migrant women,” she added.
In the participatory session some foreign return female workers alleged that they were tortured frequently in middle east based countries: Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar.
Maya, a Lebanon and Saudi returnee told that the Bangladeshi female workers were not treated with dignity in middle east. “If anyone said they were ill and could not work, the female workers were severely tortured.”