Consultation on Middlemen for Ethical Recruitment of Migrant Workers

The consultation on Recruiting Sub-Agents/ Middlemen for Ethical and Fair Recruitment of Migrant Workers’ was held at CIRDAP auditorium on Wednesday.

At least 30 middlemen who hailed from different districts of the country demanded their recognition as sub-agents of the recruiting agencies under the legal framework.

They urged the authorities concerned to facilitate them doing organizations like Bangladesh Association International Recruiting Agencies (BAIRA) to jointly work in the migration sector.

Parliamentary Caucus on Migration and Development member and lawmaker Md Altaf Ali was chief guest while migrant rights campaigners, academics, BAIRA leaders and government officials were also present.

Migrant rights organization WARBE Development Foundation in collaboration with PROKAS programme of British Council organized the consultation.

Sub Agent Abul Kalam who has been working as middleman at Comilla Sadar for last 25 years said that under contact with recruiting agencies he collected migrant workers, money,  travel documents and submitted them in Dhaka offices of recruiting for sending them abroad.

If the recruiting agencies cheat, delayed, failed to send the workers abroad, all blames came to middlemen, he said, adding that middlemen could only earn Tk 10,000 to Tk 15,000 from each worker but they had to face huge pressure.

Another middleman Porimal Halder Badal who hailed from Savar said that he has been doing job as sub agent for last 12 years. He demanded the authorities to bring them legal frame work for ensuring their rights and also for ensuring safe migration.

Porimal said that police always harassed middlemen and extorted money from them while they took the workers to recruiting agency office for processing recruitment or taking them to the medical center for checkup.

Middleman Masuduzzaman Liton hailing from Tangail said that although middlemen have been playing significant role in the country, but they could not be identified with dignity.

He demanded the government to bring them under legal framework and recruiting agencies to provide them ID cards.

Female broker Shamsun Nahar Putul said that she was engaged in sending workers abroad as her sons and other middlemen sent her visas from UAE and Qatar.

WARBE Development Foundation chairman Syed Saiful Haque who moderated the consultation said that there were huge number of middlemen at home and at destination countries and they were engaged in collecting visas and sending workers for overseas jobs.

He called for creating awareness about the existing laws and overseas employment rules among the middlemen to help ensuring safe and orderly migration.

Lawmaker Md Altaf Ali said that the government along with all stakeholders of the migration sector would work together to find out ways to manage middlemen.

Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training director Nurul Islam, BAIRA joint secretary general Shameem Ahmed Chowdhury Noman and Dhaka University associate professor or International Relations Tanzimuddin Khan among others spoke at the function.