Sharp practices of labour migration : Norail Context

Every year approximately 500000 Bangladeshi migrate to different countries for work purpose. Majority of these people are from rural areas and have never been out country in their life. To hear the story of their hopes and dreams, IID continued its signature event policy forum on ‘Fairer labour migration’ at 100 miles away from the city – a place called Kalia, Norail.

IID Policy Forum is a discussion series that brings grassroots voice to the national policy process. Typically organized at the local level, the series follows an innovative and adaptive format to conduct policy discussions involving multi-stakeholders from local communities. It also takes into account local socioeconomic realities and interests.

Participants of the forum included local political leaders, ex migrants and their family members, potential migrant workers and NGO representatives.

During discussion, participant’s spontaneously identified the deceitful sectors of migrations process. Given below are the five illegalities of migration process, shared by the speakers.

  • Passport office confusion: Often migrants are not even aware of where and how to make their passports which is the first step of migrations. They mostly depend on middle men (also known as Dalals) and follow their advice blindly.
  • Proper official knowledge: Although Govt has created several layers of helping centre to support the migrants but lack of awareness as well as interest from migrants end has made the process difficult. Some of the participants also mentioned the corruption done by governmental offices, particularly; – information centres, Zilla based offices and ministry of manpower.

download the event report for Fairer Labour Migration Policy Forum

  • Middle men: The presence of middle men is a difficult issue in migration are. Most migrants tend to rely upon middle men more and hesitate to seek support from officials.
  • Medical offices: The office of Medicals are another source of corruption for potential migrants.One participant shared that their reports have been changed to ‘Fit’ to ‘Unfit’ by only giving 3000tk as bribe. BOMSA authority took note of the accusation and said; immediate steps will be taken against them.
  • Scammed by recruiting agencies: Recruiting agencies, instead of helping their clients often tries to scam them for more money.Few participants shared them have received less salary than what is written in their agreement form. BOMSA representative says, most of the potential migrants are not educated and cannot read what is written in their agreement form. Hence they fall for the scam.

On the second round of discussion Speakers were asked questions regarding ‘prevention measure to not to fall victim of scams’ and ‘ what steps can be taken if someone falls victim of scamming’.

Awareness, more advertisement, eradication of middlemen, law related help; are the answers that came from the discussion.

IID representatives took notes on their suggestion and promised to reach their voice to the right ear.

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