Developing youth and sustainable migration

As the distribution of wealth in this world is highly imbalanced, people from economically impoverished regions often migrate as low-skilled workers to more affluent countries. Following this, nearly 10 million Bangladeshis, mostly young people, are working abroad contributing a huge share in our economy. In order to groom them according to their job requirements, Bangladesh government has a separate ministry. Tanha Tarannum Emita sheds light on the responsibilities of youth in sustaining this workforce.

 

A file photo shows Malaysia-bound workers waiting in a queue at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka. Remittance inflow to Bangladesh dropped slightly to $ 13.47 billion in 2017 from $ 13.54 billion a year ago although global remittance payments hit record in 2017, according to a World Bank report released on Monday. — New Age photo

A file photo shows Malaysia-bound workers waiting in a queue at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka. Remittance inflow to Bangladesh dropped slightly to $ 13.47 billion in 2017 from $ 13.54 billion a year ago although global remittance payments hit record in 2017, according to a World Bank report released on Monday. — New Age photo

OCCASIONALLY or diurnally, we espial an intense diligent aura resonating like inchmeal from this grand populace of Bangladesh. The country has multi-dimensional opportunities waiting just to be grabbed by the condign youth. Though it could be frustrating to see how the young people today are wasting their efforts when there’s so much to achieve. Speaking of the youth, a fair portion is providing wide dividend which surely is commendable.

About two million people enter into the working age group every year. Unfortunately, quite colossal portion of this number is the people who fall into the group of the illiterate category. But it is inevitable to take measures of every citizen who is susceptible to contributing to the economy. As a beleaguering step to overcome extreme unemployment problem, the government of Bangladesh has taken an effective step through overseas migration of employers. Over 9.3 million people are currently working as migrant workers. And the remittance made up about 10-11.5 per cent of total yearly GDP. But as simple it may sound, the whole mechanism for migration is subject to a complex realisation and the betterment and safety of our workers completely relies upon the manner of raising accountability.

The current position in migration sector is facing anarchy due to the illegal oppression of intermediaries and some beneficiary communities. Human trafficking, unlawful excerption of money are the primary suffering to the accursed ones, the next level of torture begins when they arrive at the destination country with no legal documents. Some swop their life in exchange for working 16-18 hours, others, if trapped, could just rot in jail with a zero hope of coming back to the country again. We have all witnessed the crisis in the Indian Ocean a few years back over human smuggling. Extreme poverty drives these poor souls to reach out in search of a better future but unknowingness is the root of the damage.

The bottom of the hoaxing diagram runs with unintentional prejudice of impoverished young minds. The lack of knowledge about their rights, the contractual signing of the agreement paper, process of the migration discipline, general learning about the destination country, and of course, training for the methodical trade line, everything is nebulous and is never made as translucent for the general people to understand. With no sense of language or the culture of the country they are traveling to, young workers jostle with undeniable challenges.

For the beneficiaries, it becomes easy to trap those who are not aware of the facilities which are provided by the rightful authority. The government of Bangladesh runs a structured system for executing the migration program of workers. The Technical Training Centers (TTC) provides with all the necessary training opportunity and equipment for workers. Training is given over various trades like garments, housekeeping, driving, beautification, child nursing and others. Registered recruiting agencies recruit workers from the training centers as per the requirement and ability. They are then introduced with the contract paper, the terms and conditions of the destination country, their language, culture, habits et cetera. Once the workers practice thoroughly and are mentally prepared for the journey, their information is provided through recruiting agencies to the BMET that is the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training. From there the workers are finally permitted to migrate to desired countries. Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (BAIRA) fills the bridge of accountability within the workers, recruiting agencies and the government. This chained program is ensured with the maximum given security to the migrant workers.

After reaching the destination country, BAIRA and BMET with the help of Bangladesh embassy work to ensure that the workers are provided with a good working environment, have protection form the gender-based violation and receive their payment contract wise.

Now, as much these strategies are providing a good outcome, the facility is incommensurate with proportion to the necessity. Currently, there’s only 87 TTCs with a minimum number of trainers to train the workers diversely. Only three trainers maintain the training on housekeeping in over 70 TTCs while the rest is merely borrowed from other trade areas. Alarming is to see that the workers have no minimum understanding of how to read or write. The trainers also work on that so it becomes quite impossible to train a majority number and intake new recruitment to meet the demand. Surely this makes the scope for the beneficiary party to take an advantage of the situation and lure the working enthusiasts to obscure.

Bangladesh stands within the top ten countries for receiving maximum remittance each year. 80 per cent of our workers are working in the Arabian Peninsula of which 87% of the numbers are housemaids. This figure needs to be manifold in other creative areas to rise as a dynamic workforce.

It will not be an overstatement that the dream of developing Bangladesh would only be possible with the insurance of sustainable economy and flourishing youth.

 

Tanha Tarannum Emita, wannabe nutritionist, activist and an espoir writer.

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