The statement also noted that the repatriation procedures have been undertaken hastily by countries of both origin and destination, without any proper redress mechanism, since courts and other labour dispute mechanisms have also been closed during the period of the lockdown. The rights bodies said the transitional justice mechanism will address grievances, claims and labour disputes of repatriated workers who have lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic. The mechanism needs to be expedited, accessible, a ordable, and e cient, they added. The organisations said it should be a priority to guarantee that all repatriated workers with legitimate claims are able to access justice and some kind of compensation. They said it must be of the utmost importance to ensure that cases are resolved as soon as possible, without delay, especially in cases involving labour disputes, safeguards must be put in place to ensure that migrants are able to pursue their cases post return. Access to legal advice and support, facilitating power of attorney procedures, and easing requirements for in-person testimony and court appearance or appearance in front of a tribunal/grievance mechanism are paramount, the organisations observed. They said states should require employers and businesses to keep all employment records, including payroll, employee lists, and hours worked and allow workers to take copies of their records with them. “If we are to ‘Build Back Better’, we cannot continue to turn a blind eye to the issue of wage theft that has been persistent across migration corridors for years, and will be unprecedented in the case of repatriated migrant workers in the COVID 19 pandemic,” the statement read. It added many migrant workers have reconciled to the situation of wage theft in the form of unfair or unpaid wages for months and years before the COVID 19 pandemic. Advertisement They have accepted it as their fate and refrained from complaining lest they lose their jobs, or, worse still, live with the fear of being made undocumented. Each year, millions of dollars are lost in potential remittances due to wage theft, even as countries of origin continue to explore new markets for deployment of migrant workers while countries of destination thrive on cheap and exploitable migrant labour. Repatriation of migrant workers without due diligence by states in the time of the COVID 19 pandemic will only serve to leave unattended the injustices that migrant workers bear, exonerate employers and perpetrators of violence against migrant workers, and wipe away all records of legitimate claims and grievances. The millions who are and will be repatriated will impact the development trajectory of families for whom a single migrant worker is a source of hope for a better future for generations to come. This dream, this resilience of the migrant’s journey must not be sti ed as the COVID 19 pandemic runs its course. The rights activists said if unaddressed at this time, ‘we run the risk of forever delinking the patterns that connect migration to development, as the stories of the lives of migrant workers will bear witness to this mass injustice for years to come.’ Coronavirus Bangladesh Death Migrants Migration More News Another Bangladeshi shot dead ‘by Indians’ on Sylhet border 58 minutes ago Remittance

Select target paragraph3