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
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


Select target paragraph3