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The Financial Express

Thrust on extending services to women migrant workers

| Updated: July 11, 2020 18:59:55


File photo used for representational purpose File photo used for representational purpose

Speakers at a webinar on Friday stressed the need for extending services to women migrant workers by embassies to ensure their protection.

They also demanded ensuring access to justice for the women migrants who are mostly employed as housemaids abroad.

Bangladesh Nari Sromik Kendra (BNSK) and Institute of Informatics and Development (IID) jointly organised the webinar on 'Women Migrant Workers in Covid-19 Pandemic: The Role of Embassies'.

While speaking as the chief guest, Foreign Minister Dr. AK Abdul Momen said the government has been providing food and medical support for migrant workers at home and abroad during the Covid-19 pandemic.

They are also providing returnee migrant workers with incentives at airport. The government has sanctioned Tk 5.0 billion for the migrant workers, he added.

"Our budget is gender responsive as women rights has been considering all works in Bangladesh," the foreign minister said.

They are always welcoming International Labour Organisation and other national and international NGOs, donors and migrants' associations for migrant workers' support as the government has no sufficient resources at embassies, he added.

Nasima Begum, chairman of National Human Rights Commission Bangladesh (NHRCB), said national human rights organisations in different destination countries may sign memorandum of understanding and strengthen coordination and networking for protecting sexual, economical and psychological rights of women workers.

Collaboration, cooperation and coordination among rights network are essential to ensure strong monitoring rights of women migrants, she observed.

Dr. Ahmed Munirus Saleheen, secretary of the expatriates' welfare and overseas employment ministry, said they have labour wings in 26 countries which support migrant workers.

The government has taken initiatives to extend social, economic and psychological support for migrant workers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

He also suggested that CSOs at home and abroad work for migrant workers especially women workers.

Sheepa Hafiza, human rights activist, moderated the online conference while Sumaiya Islam, executive director of BNSK, delivered welcome speech.

Nahida Sobhan, Bangladesh Ambassador to Jordan, Dr Bandana Pattanaik, international coordinator of GAATW, Shoko Ishikawa, country representative of UN Women, Gerry Fox, team leader of PROKAS, among others participated in the conference.

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