Government and ILO sign deal to protect migrant workers and digitise governance platforms

MOU also pledges to recognise migrant workers’ skills and experience

News | 27 March 2021
ILO Country Director and Secretary Ministry of Expatriate is signing the MoU© ILO
To ensure decent work for millions of migrant workers, the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment (MoEWOE) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and launched to roll out three online-based reporting platforms to help skill and protect migrant workers. The data collected will also help the government to shape better informed polices for migrant workers.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has further aggravated the plight of millions of migrant workers – be they potential, current or returnee workers. Hundreds of thousands of returnees have been laid off from their jobs overseas, posing a seismic challenge to Bangladesh’s already strained labour market, which is already contending with millions of local workers who too have lost their jobs.

“The Government is putting their highest efforts to the recognition of skills and market-oriented skills training for the migrant workers”- said Mr Imran Ahmed, MP, Minister, Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment.
“In relation to the three online information systems that we launched today, the government also wants to build the capacity of the government officials so that they are able to analyse the data and contribute in the policy decision.” he added.

ILO Country Director for Bangladesh Mr. Tuomo Poutiainen emphasised the large scale need for skills development and recognition of skills of the migrant workers. He said, “The lack of recognition of skills not only creates difficulties in getting the expected wages in the destination countries but also brings challenges for economic reintegration in the countries in origin”.

The MOU launch unveiled three information management systems, which are 1) Online Complaints Mechanism; 2) Labour Attaché Reporting System; and 3) Recruitment Agents Information Management System, developed with the support from ILO’s Swiss Development Cooperation funded project.
Expatriate minister Mr Imran Ahmed is launching the online system for better service delivery© ILO

The three databases are a significant step towards fulfilling the commitments of the government’s digitization pledges advocated in the 8th Five Year Plan. These systems should pave the way for more efficient and timely access to relevant information about migrant workers and recruiting agencies, even with the mobility limitations of the pandemic.

Dr. Ahmed Munirus Saleheen, Secretary, MoEWOE and Tuomo Poutiainen, Country Director, ILO signed a MoU for skilling, re-skilling and upskilling of migrant workers and skills recognition through improved capacity for skills anticipation, better qualification standards for the trainers, and improved access through e-RPL and national skills passport platforms at the event.
Participants from expatriate ministry, Bangladesh Technical Education Board, development partners, organizations works for the migrant workers also participated at the event.

The ILO with the support from the European Union will profile 3,000 returnee migrants and their family members for support relating to market-driven skills trainings, enterprise development and skills recognition and job placement.

A migrant workforce that is skilled, respected and certified has the potential to be one of the country’s most valuable financial assets. At the same time, an enabling system towards systematic, safe and fair migration is needed. Ultimately, the more these decent hard-working men and women earn, the more their families – and their beloved homeland – will prosper.