Parliamentarians Call to Control Middlemen Amending Overseas Employment Act-2013

Parliamentarians Caucus on Migration and Development on Wednesday called for taking immediate initiatives to control the thousands of recruitment middlemen by bringing them under the purview of law to protect the migrant workers getting cheated and harassed by middlemen.

They made the remarks while speaking at ‘Hearing on Migrants Rights Violation for Ensuring Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration’ at Parliament members club, organized by the Parliamentarians Caucus on Migration and Development.

Deputy Speaker of the National Parliament Md Fazle Rabbi Miah MP attended the hearing as chief guest and he urged the Ministry of Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment for taking necessary steps to bring an amendment to the Overseas Employment and Migrants Act 2013 accommodating the issues of middlemen.

Hearing the migrants’ problems, he said that the middlemen were cheating the migrant workers who were seeking overseas jobs and by this ways they were creating obstacles on remittances inflows.

‘The remittance inflow will get seriously hampered unless the migrant workers are protected from the clutch of the middlemen,’ he said.

Chairman of Parliamentarians Caucus on Migration and Development Md Israfil Alam MP who presided over the hearing said that the migrants were often being cheated by the middlemen who should be brought under regulations to ensure safe, orderly and regular migration.

‘Every year thousands of workers, mostly the youths, are migrating to overseas countries either getting pushed by the poverty or expecting their better life abroad.  They are often cheated by the middlemen,’ he said.

Members of Parliamentarian Caucus on Migration and Development Advocate Hoseney Ara Lutfa Dalia MP, Salina Jahan Lita MP and Safura Begum MP, among others also spoke at the hearing.

They  heard sufferings of male and female migrants who have come from different districts being cheated by the middlemen at home and by employers at destination countries of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Oman, Jordan, Lebanon and Qatar.  They raised complaints of charging high cost of migration, cheating, sexual abuse, overload of works, and denial of wages.

At least 10 middlemen participated in the hearing  and they demanded their legal recognition as sub agents by law with the recruiting agencies concerned to make recruitment process more transparent.

WARBE Development Foundation secretary general Faruque Ahmed said that some of female workers were sent back home after getting them pregnant abroad.

He urged the government to take legal actions against the sexual violation in the destination countries by Bangladesh embassy concern, so that they could get their compensations.

University teacher Israt Shamim said that the government should send workers abroad after providing them training.

WARBE Development Foundation chairman Syed Saiful Haque said that the middlemen should be brought under legal framework.

Later, the members of the Parliamentarians Caucus on Migration and Development had a meeting with civil society members and development partners at same venue and discussed about Bangladesh’s participation at the stocktaking meeting to be held in Mexico in next December.