ME crisis won't affect BD's labour market in Qatar, says minister

Dhaka,  Mon,  21 August 2017
Published : 08 Jun 2017, 00:54:19
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ME crisis won't affect BD's labour market in Qatar, says minister

FE Report


Bangladesh's labour market in Qatar will not be affected as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other countries snapped diplomatic relations with the Gulf country, expatriates' welfare minister Nurul Islam said on Wednesday.

He was speaking at a consultation on 'Challenges of Women Migrant Workers of Bangladesh and Addressing the Role of Intermediaries' at the city's Probashi Kallayan Bahban.

"I don't think manpower recruitment will be affected over the crisis," said the minister.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE severed relations with Qatar on Monday, accusing it of supporting extremism and destabilising the region.

Mr Islam said if outbound workers are given incentive, the inward remittance will increase notably.

The flow of remittances through unofficial channels will be stopped if incentives are provided to the migrant workers, he also said.

Bangladeshi Ovhibashi Mohila Sramik Association (BOMSA) in collaboration with British Council's PROKAS programme organised the consultation. Manusher Jonno Foundation executive director Shaheen Anam chaired the programme.

Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Secretary Begum Shamsun Nahar also said Bangladesh's labour market in Qatar will not be affected following the developments.

"We deal with our labour market individually. So it would not be affected," she said in reply to a query of journalists.

BOMSA director Sumaiya Islam presented the keynote paper at the consultation and said middlemen should be regulated by the existing laws as they are shattering dreams of the female migrant workers.

Recruitment of workers from the government database can help reduce involvement of middlemen, she said.

She also urged the government to immediately regulate middlemen involved in the recruitment process to relieve the outbound workers from harassment.

Mrs Shaheen Anam highlighted the need for improving training for female workers going abroad as they come from vulnerable places.

Most of them go abroad without taking proper skill training. So they remain ill-prepared and fail to bargain for their salaries, she pointed out.

Catherine Cecill, team leader of Prokas, British Council, said intermediaries are part and parcel of labour migration process.

Sometimes migrants are exploited by the intermediaries. So they have to be regulated.

The female migrants are exploited due to lack of information.

The government, NGOs and the private sector have to work together to ensure safe and orderly migration, she also added.   

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