29/04/2021 Bangladeshi returnee migrant workers call for government help to retrieve their unpaid wages — Freedom Collaborative committed to carrying out programs for the development and betterment of the migrant community, has received similar reports. Over 400,000 Bangladeshi migrants have come home amid the COVID-19 pandemic since April 2020, according to official data from the Bangladeshi government. Of this number, around 350,000 were male and 50,000 were female migrant workers who were forced to return. Many of BOMSA’s clients have complained that they were either denied several months’ wages or were underpaid in destination countries, where they also experienced exploitative working conditions. These returnees don’t know how to recoup what is due to them, or how to pay back the loans they owe to agents and money lenders now they have left their overseas employment. Migration experts and rights organizations have called on the government of Bangladesh to take immediate steps to recover these unpaid wages, pointing out that India and the Philippines are dealing with similar issues and have taken practical steps to help retrieve the money owed. They say that immediate action should be taken, such as the appointment of lawyers and translators at Bangladeshi embassies in destination countries; commitment to the discussion of wage theft at the upcoming International Labour Conference (ILC) at which employers and other stakeholders will be present; and practical assistance for migrant workers from recruiting agencies and the government to retrieve their unpaid earnings. The Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment secretary, Dr Ahmed Munirus Saleheen, has said that the government is trying to get ground-level information about the problem. By u s i n g this website, you agree to our u s e o f c o o k i e s . We u s e c o o k i e s t o p r o v id e y o u w i t h a g r e a t The situation the issue of expe r i e n c e and to help our website run e ff ehighlights c t i v e l y. I agree. accountability, or the lack thereof, for the treatment and welfare of migrant workers, which was raised repeatedly during the Global Forum for Responsible Recruitment https://freedomcollaborative.org/newsletter-archive/bangladeshi-returnee-migrant-workers-call-for-government-help-to-retrieve-their-unpaid-wage… 2/7

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