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2019-03-11 11:30:31 BdST

'Ensure decent work for women migrants'

Rights activists have demanded that the government ensure safe and decent work for women migrant workers.

The authorities should not send women workers abroad without ensuring that they would be provided right working environment and benefits, they said.

The government should also pursue diplomatic initiatives with the migrant-receiving countries to this end, they added.

The rights activists made the call on Sunday at a consultation on 'Promoting Gender Equality to Protect Women Migrants' Rights' at the National Press Club in the city, organised by the WARBE Development Foundation marking the International Women's Day 2019.

Foundation chairman Syed Saiful Haque moderated the programme.

He said migrant workers should be treated well considering their contribution to the country's economy.

"Unfortunately, they face suffering in every stage instead," he said, adding that all should come forward unitedly to change the situation as only one or two organisations would not be able to do so.

Jasiya Khatun, a director of the Foundation, said many women migrant workers are being forced to return home because of various forms of violence in their workplaces.

The returnees need necessary legal and reintegration supports, she said.

Bangladesh missions abroad should take legal action if women workers are tortured by their employers, she added.

She also emphasised giving proper training to women workers before sending them abroad.

Shirin Akhter, a member of parliament, said the social cost of migration is very high.

The workers' children who are left behind in the country do not get proper care in the absence of their parents, she said.

In many cases, the children get spoiled and become drug addict, she said citing an example in Feni district.

So, necessary measures should be taken to prevent such tragedies, she added.

Nadia Nur, programme officer of the Foundation, presented a keynote paper while Murshida Akhtar Nahar, general secretary of The National Domestic Women Workers Union (NDWWU), and Arafat Ara, staff reporter of The Financial Express, were present as panel discussants at the programme.

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