Training on Overseas Employment and Migrants Act 2013 and Safe Migration-Fair Recruitment of Female Migrant Workers

International migration in Asia has observed rapid changes in the last two decades. The most significant growth has been observed in terms of temporary labour migration. In Asia the growth of labour migration took place as more and more governments in such sending countries as Philippines, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh look at temporary labour migration as a means of resolving unemployment and a means to earn foreign exchange. The government of many of the sending countries have set up special authorities and institutions to look over the recruitment, remittance and training needs of the labour migrants. The focus in most cases is on ensuring regular migration, development of human resource and ensuring remittance through official channels. At country level wherever the private sector was involved in recruitment, there was increasing acquisition of fraudulent and unscrupulous practices leading to either no migration even when the person paid, or irregular migration without the knowledge of the prospective migrants or migration under fake promise of job and in the worst possible case trafficking. The ease with which prospective female migrants are manipulated by recruitment agents- arises from the fact that a majority are semi-literate, rural women with little or no knowledge of any aspect of the migratory process. Raising awareness is seen as a strategy to counter vulnerability and to enhance their decision-making capabilities.

Migration (internal and international) is a factor of crucial importance for the future development priorities of Bangladesh. For that reason two trainings of two days each was organized to the recruiting agencies which are responsible to recruit female migrant workers abroad about safe migration. The participating organizations/firms/entities will then should conduct orientation or training programmes to the staffs and owners of recruiting agencies. A toolkit was prepared for ease of conducting activities. The toolkit contains a trainer’s guide and resources to help the recruiting agencies’ needs for conducting safe migration. The entire process was supervised by INCIDIN Bangladesh in collaboration with Interventional Labour Organization (ILO) as well as selected GOs (MoEWOE, BMET etc.) and Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (BAIRA).

The trainings took place in Dhaka which were participated by personnel from various recruiting agencies. The trainee selection criteria were set in consultation with representatives of ILO, BAIRA and Migration focused NGOs. The actual selection took place in collaboration with BMET and BAIRA based on the set criteria (one Management Representative and one frontline staff from each of the Recruiting Agencies who has either applied for or has obtained the permission of BMET to facilitate migration of female workers). The first training/feedback collection process was held in 25-26 November, 2015 and the second training/toolkit launching ceremony was held in 6-7 December, 2015. A.K.M. Masud Ali, Executive Director, INCIDIN Bangladesh; and Mr. Nasimul Ahsan, INCIDIN Bangladesh conducted the trainings. The programmes were chaired by A.K.M. Masud Ali. Present as the Chief Guest was Mr. Khandker Md. Iftekhar Haider, Secretary MoEWOE and as Special Guests Md. Tajul Islam, Deputy Director, BMET and Ms. Suraia Banu, National Project Coordinator, ILO were present.