Background of Project
The “Promoting Decent Work thorough Improved Migration Policy and its Application in Bangladesh” project was initiated on a request from the Government of Bangladesh to the International Labour Organization (ILO) to assist the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment (MEWOE) and the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET) to improve the overall management of labour migration and to ensure protection and decent employment conditions to the Bangladeshi migrant workers.
The project outcomes were based on the recommendations made at the “Regional Symposium on Deployment of Workers Overseas, A Shared Responsibility” held in Dhaka in 2008, and designed in close consultation with all stakeholders and partners.
The Labour Migration project commenced in July 2011 and its current phase will be completed in June 2015.
The Labour Migration project is funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). Over a period of 4 years (2011-2015), a total of 2870.00 Lac BDT (US$ 3.5 Mil) is committed to the project.
National coverage with concentration in migrant prone districts
Main Project Outputs
- Policy and legislation: Revision of the Migration Policy 2006 and formulation of an Action Plan. Finalization of the newly drafted Overseas Employment Act and revision of regulations. Research studies on migration and development issues and organization of broad consultations with key stakeholders to support the policy and normative formulation. As part of the policy review, gender responsiveness, health and social issues specific to women migrant workers will be addressed.
- Bilateral cooperation: Organization of bilateral review meetings with representatives of selected countries of destination to promote increased access to overseas employment under protected conditions, including for the women migrant workers.
- Migration management: System review of BMET for institutional and operational recommendations. Provision of training programs to officials at the national and district levels. Support to government officials to participate to international training programs, and to targeted visits to countries in the region. Establishment and upgrading of the BMET data management system, including return and disaggregation per gender and occupation. Delivery of a training program for overseas labour attaches and consular officials.
- Regional cooperation: Co-organization of government regional consultations on common issues related to labour migration policy and governance. Organization of regional training programs for officials from the region. Support dialogue and organizational agreements between employers and workers organization with their counterparts in selected countries of destination.
- Market promotion: Conduct labour market analysis, with a special focus on labour demand for women. Organization of prospective and promotional visits of officials to selected countries of destination. Organization of prospective visits of employers to Bangladesh. Production of promotional TV material for dissemination.
- Recruitment process: Technical support provision to MEWOE and BMET for better regulation of the recruitment process, including licensing and inspection mechanisms. Review with BAIRA of the existing codes of conduct and other voluntary guidelines to strengthen, promote and monitor their application.
- Awareness raising: Conduction of awareness raising programs with outreach at the national and district levels, with a special focus on potential women migrant workers. Production and dissemination of pre-departure information material.
- Skills development: Support to skills training delivery in technical training centers (TTCs), with a focus on women, curricula development and language skills. Support to skills training and employment referral in selected districts in cooperation with NGOs.
- Social protection: Review of the Wage Earner Welfare Fund and formulation of recommendations to increase efficiency and benefits. Expand provisions of pre-departure information, addressing specific needs of women migrant workers. Strengthen overseas protection mechanisms, with specific measures for women.
- Return and reintegration: Establish a return monitoring system to determine profiles and needs. Organize network arrangements with institutions and NGOs to provide services to returnee migrants, addressing in particular needs of women migrant workers.
Objective of the project
The main objectives of the Labour Migration project are as follows:
- Strengthened policy and institutional frameworks to improve migration management and the protection of migrant workers.
- Improved operational efficiency and effectiveness in overseas employment promotion under protected conditions, including the reduction of migration costs.
- Strengthened social protection for migrant workers available in the countries of destination and upon return.
Key Expected results
- National policy, normative and institutional frameworks are strengthened and enhance improved migration management.
- Regional cooperation and bilateral dialogues with destination countries are strengthened and allow increased access to overseas work under protected conditions.
- Access to overseas employment for migrant workers is more effectively regulated and migration costs are reduced.
- Migrant workers are protected from abuses in the countries of destination and benefit from increased social protection
- Migrant workers are better trained, informed and prepared in the pre-departure process.
- Returnees and their families are supported in their reintegration in Bangladesh.
Partner organizations and Beneficiaries
The MEWOE is the principle partner with the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET) as a key body of the MEWOE involved in the project implementation. The other key Implementing Partners include: the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN WOMEN). ILO constituents representing the employers and migrants and workers are also important partners in the project. These include namely, the National Coordination Committee for Workers’ Education (NCCWE), Bangladesh Employer’s Federation (BEF) and Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (BAIRA). The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is funding the project.
NGOs, CBOs and private sector institutions.
Potential, current and returning migrant workers are ultimate project beneficiaries. Women migrant workers constitute a specific target group and are given special attention in the overall project delivery.