Migrant’s lack of knowledge and skills, along with the slow and corrupt migration process are major obstacles to harness most out of overseas employment. Youth involvement in the grass-root level and policy making can bring positive change in concerns related to migration.
To reap the benefits of demographic dividend, IID, under its Youth for Policy initiative, trains local youth leaders on public policy advocacy and policy entrepreneurship. This year’s Policy Camp incorporated a wide range of tools and techniques of ‘Design Thinking’ to find an empathetic solution for job seekers, particularly for the aspirant labour migrants.
In the 5-day long Policy Camp, held from 8th to 12th September 2019 in Jashore, IID trained 28 young leaders from 11 districts to participate in the policy making process. Using different interactive and theoretical tools, the participants were taught to identify the roots of problems prevailing in every step of the migration process and to come up with specific solutions. The Policy Camp included a HelloMP session on 11th September 2019, where young leaders presented their concerns and recommendations to Honorable MP Shameem Haider Patwary of Gaibandha.
Aspirant migrants are not aware of the cost of migration and are not skilled enough to go through the complex migration processes themselves. As various migration-related government agencies lack coordination and the government officials are not cooperative to the migrants, the migration process becomes complex and lengthy. Thus aspirant migrants become dependent on subagents and vulnerable to their malpractices. Migrant workers of Bangladesh pay a high price for the migration, for which they fail to come out of poverty even after working abroad for a substantial salary.
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Government has the scope of making the migration process easy, fast, and transparent by decentralizing the government agencies and opting digitization. Along with monitoring recruiting agencies, awareness raising through miking, events and media will save aspirant migrants from falling into traps of the middlemen and recruiting agencies. Embassies need to stay in touch with the migrants through creating networks, arranging meetings frequently and introducing helplines. Creating facilities in the financial system for migrants to access money and avail suitable saving schemes and providing reskilling and entrepreneurship training will ensure financial rehabilitation of returnee migrants.
In the HelloMP session, Shameem Haider Patwary, MP highlighted the role youth can play in assisting aspirant migrants with paperwork and formalities in the airport through volunteering. He emphasized vocational training to stay ahead in the global labour market competition. Mr. Shameem Haider Patwary also mentioned that capacity building among officials of embassies in destination countries on migration issues is necessary, which can be facilitated by civil society organizations.
This policy camp is one of the several initiatives in attempt to achieve IID’s vision of ‘making policy public’ by capacity building of the youth and creating a platform for them to engage with policy-makers.