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Committee on the Protection of the Rights of Migrant Workers considers initial report of Bangladesh

Committee on Rights of Migrant Workers

4 April 2017 

The Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families today concluded its consideration of the initial report of Bangladesh on its implementation of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.

Presenting the report of Bangladesh, Nurul Islam, Minister of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment, said that, as a major source country of migrant workers, Bangladesh had a long-standing commitment to promote and protect the human rights of migrant workers and members of their families. The anti-trafficking law and the 2013 Overseas Employment and Migrants Act promoted opportunities for overseas employment, established a safe and fair system of migration, and provided for the punishment of unscrupulous activities in the recruitment of migrant workers. The Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Policy 2016 was in close compliance with the Convention and protected the rights of migrant workers, especially female migrant workers. Support services for migrant workers abroad through Bangladeshi missions were being strengthened, and 2,555 visits by Labour Attachés had been conducted in different destinations to verify the provisions of employment contracts. Bangladesh had bilateral agreements with a number of destination countries but one obstacle to the effective protection of migrant workers was the low ratification of the Convention in those countries.

In the discussion that followed, Committee Experts stressed the obligation of the State party to ensure that its migrant workers were treated as rights-holders and not a commodity in all stages of the migratory process. The effectiveness of the system of the protection of the rights of migrant workers in Bangladesh was of concern; legislation and institutions were in place, but not the clear procedure for overseas migration: there were 27 different steps one had to go through before obtaining the authorisation to migrate, which opened the space for corruption and abuse. Further, a large proportion of migrant workers were recruited through private agencies which did not seem to be effectively regulated and monitored. There were reports of such agents charging exorbitant fees, sometimes amounting to two to four years’ salary, which put migrant workers in a situation of bonded labour - this was often the case with recruitment to Singapore. Experts asked about the number of migrant workers, including female migrant workers, and about services available to protect them from violence and abuse in destination countries. Other issues raised during the dialogue included the situation of children of migrant workers, reintegration of returning workers, migrant workers’ access to complaints mechanisms and justice, and steps to address corruption in the migration process.

Prasad Kariyawasam, Committee Expert and Co-Rapporteur for Bangladesh, in his concluding remarks, urged Bangladesh to clarify the situation and rights of those human beings who chose Bangladesh as their destination country, and to continue reducing the cost of migration.

Jasminka Džumhur, Committee Vice-Chairperson and Rapporteur for Bangladesh, concluded by saying that the next steps for Bangladesh should be adopting by-laws and implementing tools, regulating recruitment agencies and increasing the role of the government in recruitment, given the great impact of migration on the socio-economic situation in the country.

Mentioning that this type of dialogue was helpful for both sides to understand each other better, to ascertain where the problems lay and how to overcome them, Shameem Ahsan, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations Office at Geneva, in his concluding remarks, reassured the Committee Experts that all comments they had made had been taken by Bangladesh in a positive spirit.

In his concluding remarks, Nurul Islam, Minister of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment, said that Bangladesh would address the efficiency and transparency of the migration system, and consider introducing insurance schemes to cover unexpected losses that migrant workers suffered. Recognizing their contribution in the socio-economic development of Bangladesh, the leader of the delegation referred to the migrant workers as the “golden sons and daughters of the soil”.

José Brillantes, Committee Chairperson, in concluding remarks, noted that Bangladesh was held in very high regard in the field of migrant workers’ rights and overseas employment, and that through its efforts and the work on the Global Forum on Migration and Development, it was laying important ground for the upcoming Global Compact on Migration. He noted that Bangladesh was a “model” labour-sending country as far as rights and protection of migrant workers were concerned.

The delegation of Bangladesh included representatives of the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment, Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training, and the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the United Nations Office at Geneva.

The Committee will next meet in public at 3 p.m. today, 4 April, to begin its consideration of the initial report of Jamaica (CMW/C/JAM/1).

Report

The initial report of Bangladesh can be read here: CMW/C/BGD/1.

Presentation of the Report

NURUL ISLAM, Minister of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment, said that international labour migration had generated foreign incomes and created job opportunities abroad for millions of Bangladeshi workers. It had given Bangladesh a unique chance to play a critical role in shaping global advancements by contributing its human skills and knowledge. As a major source country of migrant workers, Bangladesh had a long-standing commitment to promote and protect the human rights of migrant workers and members of their families, reflected in the ratification of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families in 2011. The Charter for Change - Vision 2021, created in 2008, drove the Sustainable Development Agenda towards establishing Bangladesh as a middle-income country by the fiftieth anniversary of the nation in 2021. Mr. Islam said that undocumented Myanmar nationals in Bangladesh had been provided with assistance and basic needs on humanitarian grounds, and stressed that Bangladesh did not consider them migrant workers and hence they were not covered by the ambit of the Convention.

On legal and policy reforms undertaken since the ratification of the Convention, Mr. Islam said that the incorporation of its major provisions into domestic law was assured through the adoption of the anti-human trafficking law in 2012 and the Overseas Employment and Migrants Act in 2013, which aimed to promote opportunities for overseas employment, establish a safe and fair system of migration, and provide for punishment of unscrupulous activities relating to the recruitment of migrant workers. The Children Act of 2013 and the Labour Law provided for the protection of children from exploitation and abuse; Bangladesh had significantly reduced child labour by 50 per cent during the 2003 to 2010 period. Bangladesh was committed to strengthen and modernize labour migration governance and was developing legislation on rules of labour migration management, on recruitment agencies licensing, conduct and classification, and on migrant workers registration.

The Government was in the process of drafting new laws, including on immigration, export processing zones, and wage earners’ welfare, to further strengthen the protection and welfare of all workers, including migrant workers. New policies had been enacted and institutional reforms undertaken, and within those frameworks the protection of the social security of migrant workers had been strengthened. Such policies included the national women development policy, the national skills development policy, and the national social security strategy. The Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Policy 2016 was in close compliance with the Convention and protected the rights of migrant workers, especially female migrant workers. Support services for migrant workers abroad through Bangladeshi missions were being strengthened, including through training to 567,000 aspirant migrant workers in 2016. The Vigilance Task Force on labour migration had conducted 12 operations in 2016 and around 2,555 visits by Labour Attachés had been conducted in different destinations to verify the provisions of employment contracts. A challenge to the protection of migrant workers was the low ratification level of the Convention in countries of destination, said Mr. Islam, noting that through bilateral agreements Bangladesh encouraged other countries to ratify the treaty.

Questions from the Committee Experts

JASMINKA DŽUMHUR, Committee Vice-Chairperson and Rapporteur for Bangladesh, recognized that Bangladesh experienced difficulties in ensuring full protection of the rights of migrant workers because many of the destination countries did not ratify the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families. The Rapporteur also recognized legal and policy efforts undertaken to implement the provisions of the Convention.

How many migrant workers were there, and why were professionals such as doctors or lawyers who arrived to Bangladesh for work not recognized as migrant workers?

What was stopping Bangladesh from ratifying a number of international treaties, including the International Labour Organization Convention N°143, Convention N°181 and Convention N°189? What were the intentions concerning the ratification of the 1951 Refugee Convention?

Bangladesh had adopted the Overseas Employment Act in 2013, but not the bylaws for its implementation, noted the Country Rapporteur.

PRASAD KARIYAWASAM, Committee Experts and Co-Rapporteur for Bangladesh, noted that it was still not clear how the Convention was being implemented in practice and, referring to female migrant workers, asked how many there were and what specific measures were in place to respond to their specific needs, in Bangladesh and abroad.

The Committee was fully aware of the efforts of the authorities to ensure the welfare of migrant workers, and noting that there were more than 800 registered recruitment agencies, asked the delegation to explain the mechanism in place to monitor and oversee their functioning and steps taken to deal with illegal ones.

The Committee had received information that migrant workers recruited to Singapore through some of those agencies had to pay two years of salary as a recruiting fee, which amounted to bonded labour. Was this true, and if so, how did it happen and what was being done to address the issue? Migrant workers had to go through 27 levels of approvals in order to emigrate – could the delegation explain why. What was the procedure in place for migrant workers to file a complaint or a grievance?

What support was being provided to the National Human Rights Commission and was it accredited under the Paris Principles?

Bangladesh was keen to have bilateral agreements with receiving countries and this was a good way to protect the rights of its nationals. Were those agreements publicly available and were civil society and migrant workers consulted during the negotiation of those agreements? How had Bangladesh ensured implementing the principles of the Convention in those agreements?

Considering that Bangladesh was not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention, what support and assistance did it provide to Myanmar nationals in Bangladesh, including the Rohingya Muslims who fled violence in Myanmar?

Another Expert asked for additional information on the content of the strategy for migrant workers; the aid and support provided to female domestic workers who often suffered violations and abuse, including through the network of 61 diplomatic missions abroad; and the system in place to protect migrant children and children victims of economic exploitation.

A Committee Expert noted that the head of the delegation in his opening statement said that Myanmar nationals were not considered migrant workers and asked whether this was a de facto or de iure situation. What was the practical situation of Myanmar nationals at the moment, could they work, access health and other basic services, and did children go to school?

Did Bangladesh have bilateral agreements with countries practicing the kafala regime and how were Bangladesh nationals protected in those countries?

The delegation was asked to provide concrete examples and measures in place to protect Bangladeshi migrant workers in Saudi Arabia from employers’ abuse. Committee Experts noted the obligation of the State to facilitate the movement of migrant workers and ensure their protection throughout the migratory process, but only one per cent of migrants went through the national authorities, while others used the services of middle men which increased their vulnerability to abuse and exploitation.

Bangladesh was one of the largest remittance receiver countries, but the remittances were used by families of migrant workers to cover their living costs. What plans were in place to redirect the use of remittances to national development programmes?

The delegation was asked about children migrants, and children travelling alone to reunite with their families; the situation of child labour; what happened to migrants who died abroad; and whether all Bangladeshi migrant workers left the country of their own will.

JOSÉ BRILLANTES, Committee Chairperson, asked if Bangladesh had a reintegration programme to facilitate the seamless return of migrant workers into the social, economic and political life in the country.

Response by the Delegation

Responding to questions and comments raised by Committee Experts, the delegation said that the Constitution of Bangladesh guaranteed equal opportunities and equal protection under the law for all citizens without discrimination.

Bangladesh was a country of emigration and there were very few immigrants coming to Bangladesh for work. There were only about 22,000 migrant workers from Sri Lanka and India mainly, who were working in different economic areas in Bangladesh. Their employment was guided by the Labour Act 2006 and they were treated as foreign workers in Bangladesh.

The provisions of the Palermo Protocol had been included in the 2012 anti-trafficking law. Rather than not ratifying the Convention, Bangladesh had preferred to ratify the treaty and enter declarations on article 76 and 77.

With regard to the situation of Myanmar nationals, the delegation said that they were in refugee camps run by the United Nations Refugee Agency, while their humanitarian needs for health, education, sanitation, and others were being provided by the Government, international agencies and the Bangladesh Red Crescent.

Bangladesh was a member of the International Labour Organization and had ratified seven out of its eight core Conventions, and it needed to strengthen its capacity to adequately monitor the implementation of those treaties. In order to improve the situation of domestic workers, Bangladesh was implementing the International Labour Organization programmes in this regard and had adopted a policy in 2015 which provided a legal framework for the protection of domestic workers, who were mainly women and girls.

Migration costs had been fixed and taking excessive fees was a punishable act; at the moment, 16 such cases were pending before the courts. An inter-ministerial tax group was in place to oversee the rules, and a mobile court had been established to try cases. A complaint mechanism was in place as well, including online. In order to minimize the role of the middle-men, Bangladesh was in the process of setting up a recruitment process from a database, while online recruitment programmes were in place with two countries, including Saudi Arabia, through which female migrant workers were recruited at zero cost. The excessive cost of migration was often due to a hidden cost in the destination country, and Bangladesh was addressing those issues bilaterally.

A complaint mechanism for workers abroad was in place, through which 1,412 complaints had been received in the past two years. Aggrieved persons could lodge complaints in Embassies, in the Ministry, the BMET and online. The Ministry had two first-class magistrates who conducted mobile courts. Also, there was an arbitration mechanism in place in the BMET, the District Employment & Manpower Office and Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (BAIRA). The laws, policies and rules were in place to ensure the protection of the rights of migrant workers. Specialized banks had been established to facilitate access to financial services to migrant workers.

In response to the remark that the migration process required 27 approval steps, the delegation explained the recruitment steps and said that a migration process requires only a few steps namely, (i) registration (which a potential migrant worker could do online from rural areas such as in Union Parishad level); (ii) finger print; (iii) acquiring of visa; (iv) apply in the BMET; (v) destination-specific training including language training and (vi) immigration clearance in one day. The whole process culminated in the issue of a certificate to migrate and a smart card which contained all information about the worker and the employer; all the data was entered into a database and it was very easy to find any migrant.

The delegation mentioned that civil society organizations were properly consulted during the preparation of Bangladesh’s initial CMW report as well as responses to the List of Issues. Bilateral agreements and memoranda of understanding with destination countries were not yet made public, but the decision had been made to make them public, which would be done soon. Hong Kong was a very high-value market for Bangladeshi migrant workers and there was a comprehensive bilateral agreement covering their protection. Bilateral agreements and memoranda of understanding also existed with Jordan, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, which was the most attractive labour market for Bangladeshi workers. A separate agreement on female domestic workers had been signed with Saudi Arabia.

The delegation mentioned that there were 593,000 female migrant workers in various countries from Bangladesh. Shelters had been set up in destination countries to provide protection to female domestic workers from abuse by employers, where they could seek refuge, while there were specialized civil society organizations in Bangladesh providing them with psycho-social support. Bangladesh worked in close cooperation with destination countries which used the kafala system, and several had improved their legal frameworks to increase the protection of migrant workers, for example in Qatar.

The delegation mentioned that the Government, through its Labour Attaches, repatriated 3,500 mortal remains of migrant workers to Bangladesh each year approximately. The cost of repatriation was provided from the Wage Earners’ Welfare Fund and Bangladeshi Taka 3,00,000 was paid to the family of each of the dead workers.

The National Human Rights Commission was a new, independent statutory body, authorised to receive complains for violations of the human rights of citizens, including migrant workers. Its operational capacity was being built through an increase in staff and operating space, and opening of two regional offices.

There were Bangladeshi banks and exchange houses in countries of destination to collect the money from migrant workers and send remittances back home. The cost of sending remittance was only 3.5 per cent.

Follow-up Questions

PRASAD KARIYAWASAM, Committee Expert and Co-Rapporteur for Bangladesh, noted that the key piece in how migrant workers were treated was the conduct of recruitment agencies and brokers, and asked the delegation to explain how they were monitored and supervised, including through surprise visits. What possibility did migrant workers have to file a complaint for misconduct of a recruitment agency; were arbitration rules in place or was it done on an ad hoc basis?

Response by the Delegation

With regard to the mechanism in place for the regulation of private recruiting agents, the delegation explained that they had to be licensed by the Government and must not take extra migration fees. They were prosecuted for violations of the rules and in 2014/2015 more than 20 licences had been revoked. At the moment, there were 1,037 active recruiting and licenced agencies. In addition to licensed private recruitment agents, recruitment of migrant workers for overseas employment could also be done by the Government’s own recruiting company, as well as by the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET). Licences could be issued only to those agencies without any criminal record, including for human trafficking and corruption violations, and were issued for a period of three years.

All licensed recruitment agencies were regularly visited by the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training, which had the monitoring mandate. To strengthen the recruitment monitoring capacities of the Government, a new system had been developed in 2015 with the assistance of the International Organization for Migration, and Bangladesh was about to introduce an online monitoring system as well. The Bureau also had the complaint mechanism that migrant workers could seize, in person or online, for any rights violations by recruitment agencies. Over the past five years, the Bureau had received 1,412 complaints for which more than 49 million taka had been paid out in compensation. Additionally, 16 of those complaints had been referred to the criminal justice system. Some of the victims complained to the Business Task Force, which had received 34 complaints over the past five years.

The delegation explained that children usually did not migrate with their parents.

Questions by the Committee Experts

In the next round of questions, Committee Experts recognized the remarkable socio-economic progress in Bangladesh to which migrant workers significantly contributed through the remittances which amounted to about $ 15 billion. The importance of the effective implementation of the Convention thus could not be overstated. The obligation of each State party was to ensure that human beings were not treated as a commodity in the migration process, but that migrant workers were always treated as rights-holders.

JASMINKA DŽUMHUR, Committee Vice-Chairperson and Rapporteur for Bangladesh, raised concern about the effectiveness of the system of the protection of the rights of migrant workers in Bangladesh, noting that key elements of the system must be in place: legislation, strong institutions and procedures. The Country Rapporteur asked the delegation to provide a step-by-step explanation of the procedure a Bangladeshi citizen must follow to migrate for work to Saudi Arabia, for example. What was the status of trafficking in persons cases that had been before the criminal court, and which mechanisms were in place to eradicate corruption in the migration process? How was the public made aware about the channels through which they could report corruption, and what protection was provided to whistle-blowers?

A Committee Expert inquired about Bangladeshi citizens detained on the grounds of migration in destination countries, as well as the policy for consular assistance and support to detained migrants. What return and reintegration policy was in place and how did it address social and economic reinsertion of returning migrants? Was socio-economic data on the situation of children of migrant workers available, and were there assessments of the impact of migration of parents on children?

Myanmar nationals, including asylum seekers among them, were often looking for work, formally or informally – what policies were in place to protect their rights and ensure the implementation of the principle of non-refoulement?

How could families of a migrant worker who passed away abroad – due to accident or abuse, for example – access justice, as well as compensation and reparation?

Response by the Delegation

Bangladesh had established a dedicated bank, the Expatriate Welfare Bank, to provide loans to returning migrant workers so that they could make use of it for self-employment, business and other activities of their choice.

There were approximately three million cases – civil, criminal, matrimonial - pending before the courts in Bangladesh, and steps were being taken to increase the capacity of the justice system, including through the appointment of new judges. There were 16 criminal cases involving migrant workers currently pending.

More than 10 million Bangladeshi citizens lived abroad and Bangladesh was committed to ensure their participation in the electoral process wherever they were.

The Government was working on addressing the situation of undocumented Myanmar nationals; refugees were living in two camps where they were being cared for.

An independent commission had been established under the anti-corruption act of 2004, which was dealing with all cases of corruption.

Migrant workers were considered the “golden sons and daughters of the soil” and received respect and protection, both the workers and the families they left behind. The leader of the delegation mentioned the plan of establishing an insurance scheme to cover the unforeseen losses suffered by the migrant workers; and a housing scheme and hospital for the children and family of the migrant workers. Currently the Government wa running nine schools in Saudi Arabia which were accredited by the Bangladeshi examination boards. The accompanying children of migrant workers could study and appear for exam in these schools and the examination papers were sent to Bangladesh for evaluation.

The migration procedure was as follows: the employment documentation was presented by a recruitment agency to the government, which would sometimes spot-check it, and then a license was issued without any delay and harassment. Bangladeshi citizens were encouraged to migrate for work, as in-country employment opportunities were not sufficient.

With regard to the ratification of other international instruments as asked by the Committee Experts, Bangladesh said that it was taking steps to gradually enhance its capacities for implementation before going ahead with the ratification of these treaties.

Bangladesh had established numerous anti-trafficking committees throughout the country, and 79 victims of trafficking had been assisted and supported.

A number of Sustainable Development Goals and targets were directly related to migration, said the delegation, and Bangladesh had bade an action plan to reduce the migration cost by 2030 to equal three months’ salary.

On the possibility of filing a complaint in destination countries, the delegation explained that each foreign mission had a labour wing through which all migrant workers could file complaints about the violation of labour rights, such as non-payment of salary. The delegation also mentioned that the Labour Attaches in the embassies visited detained workers in destination countries and helped them to repatriate, when necessary. They facilitated repatriation of more than 23,488 expatriate workers; and provided legal assistances for the realization of their salaries and dues, and also financial assistances to those who were in need.

A delegate said that 89 recruiting agencies had been suspended for fraudulent activities, and more than 49 million taka had been paid out in compensation.

Responding to concerns Experts raised about the reports of sexual and gender-based violence and labour exploitation of undocumented Myanmar nationals, including children, and about Indian migrant workers, including children, subjected to forced labour in the kiln and tea industry, the delegation explained that, following the independence of Bangladesh in 1971, the workers in tea plantations were no longer Indian but Bangladeshi citizens and thus not under the remit of this Convention. The delegation mentioned that the Government did not receive any complaints about sexual exploitation of undocumented Myanmar nationals.

The delegation explained that Bangladesh did not have the capacity to cope with the influx of Myanmar nationals fleeing their homeland of centuries as a result of deprivation of their most natural rights as citizens, pre-planned persecution, systematic discrimination under 1982 Citizenship Law of Myanmar and so on. In this regard, they referred to the previous two influxes of Rohingya people in large numbers to Bangladesh. It was also mentioned that since 9 October 2016, more than 73,000 new Rohingyas arrived in Bangladesh fleeing new wave of violence against them. International media as well as reports by the UN OHCHR and the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights in Myanmar were the testimony of these recent atrocities. Apart from 33,000 refugees in two camps, the rest of the Myanmar nationals in Bangladesh did not have a specific status. Thus, they were referred to as “undocumented Myanmar nationals” and not “refugees” as Bangladesh was not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention and did not have the means to ensure their rights as refugees. As yet, since they did not have a status, Bangladesh was of the opinion that their situation should not be discussed in this Committee, as it had been clearly established that they were not migrant workers.

Mentioning that Bangladesh with its limited means had been helping the UMNs for decades with the best intention of humanitarian concern, the delegation also noted that a census of the undocumented Myanmar nationals was underway with a view to determine how “we could help them”.

Concluding Remarks

PRASAD KARIYAWASAM, Committee Expert and Co-Rapporteur for Bangladesh, thanked the delegation for the productive dialogue in which the Committee had learned a lot about the situation of migrant workers in Bangladesh. He noted with appreciation the remarkable socio-economic progress that Bangladesh had made in last 10 to 15 years and underscored the contribution of migrant workers towards this. Bangladesh was not only a country of origin but a country of destination as well, and in this context there was a need to establish clarity of the situation and the rights of human beings who had come to Bangladesh. The Committee took positive note of the good intentions of Bangladesh in this regard and urged that the challenges in the implementation on the ground be met squarely. The Co-Rapporteur encouraged Bangladesh to continue to work towards reducing the costs of migration to the intended three months’ salary, as this would be ground-breaking.

JASMINKA DŽUMHUR, Committee Vice-Chairperson and Rapporteur for Bangladesh, urged Bangladesh to prioritise the strengthening of the system for the protection of migrant workers and harness the significant power of remittances. The next step for Bangladesh should be adopting by-laws and implementation tools, regulating recruitment agencies, and increasing the role of the Government in recruitment, given the great impact of migration on the socio-economic situation in the country.

SHAMEEM AHSAN, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations Office at Geneva, reassured the Committee Experts that all comments they had made had been taken by Bangladesh in a positive spirit. It was important to understand the unique perspective of Bangladesh, an old civilization and a young country. After the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971, in a short span of time, a fully devastated economy had gradually developed to what it was now with tremendous efforts and under the proper guidance of the political leadership. He also underscored the solid intention of Bangladesh to make incremental progress. He noted that as a recognition of the migrant workers’ contribution to the Bangladeshi society, the Government of Bangladesh observed the International Migrants’ Day (18 December) with due importance in home and abroad through its Embassies.

NURUL ISLAM, Minister of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment of Bangladesh, reiterated the commitment to improve the implementation of the Convention in the country and said that Bangladesh would focus on the implementation of migration governance based on the Committee’s recommendations. It would further address the efficiency and transparency of the migration system, and consider introducing insurance schemes to cover unexpected losses that migrant workers suffered. The care and protection of families of migrant workers left behind would continue to be a priority.

JOSÉ BRILLANTES, Committee Chairperson, thanked the delegation for the constructive dialogue which had provided further insight into the situation of migrant workers in Bangladesh and Bangladeshi citizens who were migrant workers abroad. Bangladesh was held in very high regard in the field of migrant workers’ rights and overseas employment and the rapid economic and social development of the country within such a short period of time since independence was commendable. Through its efforts and the work on the Global Forum on Migration and Development, they were laying important ground for the upcoming Global Compact on Migration.

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