12/01/2021 The migration grievance redress mechanism The migration grievance redress mechanism Aminul Hoque Tushar | Friday, 18 January 2019 The Bangladeshi migrant workers, both male and female, experienced two types of grievances, financial and social. Moreover, majority of the Bangladeshi survivors did not file cases or grievances and also were not aware of the process earlier. As per the sources of BMET and Bangladesh government database, the common complaints of the migrants are: They paid more money for migration to agents, non-payment of agreed wages, lack of communication with family members, death of migrant workers, physical and sexual harassment by the employers, stranded without employment, premature termination and return, labour trafficking and excess work. For redressing the migration-related grievances, both the government and private sector have their own grievance redress mechanism. The government also enacted laws for the legal protection of the migrant workers, through which the survivors could claim their rights and resolve the conflicts. TYPES OF STUDY DONE SO FAR: The government's migration regulatory body called Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET) has a formal process to redress the migration-related complaints, for which it has a general cell and a female complaint cell. Both the cells are receiving the complaints online (http://ovijogbmet.org) and the call centre called Probash Bondhu. The complaint receiving cells of the BMET mostly provide two types of services: safely return from abroad if there is any evidence of being abused using two ways of communications with recruiting agencies and labour welfare wings at the Bangladesh missions and earning compensation for cheated migrant workers through arbitration with recruiting agencies. The BMET also kept the services at its district level offices called District Employment and Manpower Office and at the Migrant Welfare Desk. Though the government has decentralised the services at the district level to handle these migration grievances in a cost effective way, in most cases the survivors have to come to the central office at Dhaka for resolving the cases. Consistent with the government initiatives for grievance management, the civil society organisations (CSOs) in Bangladesh also have taken different measures to make the process easier for the survivors. They actually work for strengthening the structure of grievance mitigation through coordinating the other facilities of government departments and ministries. Apart from this, some organisations also provide legal aid for dealing with the complex migration-related cases in district or judicial magistrate courts for ensuring justice under the Overseas Employment and Migration Act 2013 and other relevant laws. As per a report of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) released in July in 2017, migrant workers from Southeast Asian countries, including Bangladesh, faced as much as 13 major barriers to justice. According to that report, the hurdles include lack of written evidences, high cost of legal assistance, slow legal process, fear of retaliation, discriminatory attitudes, unclear statutory https://thefinancialexpress.com.bd/print/the-migration-grievance-redress-mechanism-1547821416 1/4

Select target paragraph3