Background and Rationale:
Labor migration is increasingly being recognized as a viable livelihood option for many poor people and one of the major development issues for Bangladesh. More demand for manpower from Bangladesh is coming from some South East Asian countries in addition to the Middle Eastern countries. The growth in migration from Bangladesh and the increasing levels of remittances and consequent benefits to the society and the country are not without its challenges. Most of migrant labor force working in other Asian countries and in particularly, the Middle East. Due to the employment rate being much higher at rural and sub-urban areas, most of these migrant labors come from poor and middle income socio-economic settings. Fact is, the bulk portion of our labor force have a very limited literacy and skill level and have therefore, migrated as unskilled labor.
Due to their limited literacy level, unavailability of relevant information and proper consultancy service, most of these migrants labor suffer from more or less the same problems. These includes, cheating by the middleman, fake and unregistered travel agencies and bankers in the name of free visa, fraud and deception by recruiters, physical and/or sexual abuse from employers, squalid living conditions, poor access to health care and other services, irregular and insufficient pay for long work hours in difficult physical conditions, and socially marginalization in host countries.
Steady job and other facilities, procedural problem in some legal institutions in the importing countries causes delay in disposal of cases of labor problems for getting their proper dues, nonpayment, underpayment, delayed payment, poor living conditions, refusal to provide air tickets at the time of exit, non-adherence to the terms and conditions of employment by the sponsors, sometimes as soon as the worker reaches the host country, the agreement is substituted by a new agreement having low wages, substandard accommodation, no free food and other lower fringe benefits, etc. In case of accidents it takes years to get the death compensation by the next of kin due to complexity of legal procedures of the host countries. Sometimes workers are repatriated after becoming handicapped temporarily or permanently due to some accident without proper treatment or compensation. Moreover, some social leaders and government officials are also heard to be taking advantage of their lack of knowledge.
Keeping all the situation in mind YPSA has been implementing Fairer Labor Migration Project with the support from Promoting Knowledge for Accountable Systems (PROKAS) Programme of British Council from January 2017. This project is working for improving the transparency and accountability of the migration process and also promotes participants on safe migration. The project working through five partners (RMMRU, BOMSA, WARBE, YPSA and IID) on different territory in Bangladesh. The project uses the political momentum which was generated by Bangladesh hosting the GFMD in December 2016 to support partners from civil society to use this opportunity to present and represent the perspectives of citizens at the national level. YPSA has been implementing a pilot project in one union and one Pauroshova at Ranguia, Chittagong. This areas is prone of labor migration of Bangladesh
Objectives of Project:
1 The project aims to improve the transparency and accountability of the migration process. It will do this through supporting work by multiple stakeholders which increases the fairness of the labour migration system by reducing the scope for corrupt practice and supporting the development of mechanisms to enhance informed decision-making by migrants.
2 The project will initially look to use identified entry points to support civil society actors in their work to influence systemic and institutional changes related to the role of intermediaries in informal labour migration practices. The project will continue to explore other identified opportunities to backstop the system change through initiatives that build the capacity of migrants to make informed choices.
Funded By: BRITISH COUNCIL, PROKAS (Promoting Knowledge for Accountable System)
Duration of Project: 1st January 2017 to March 2018
The project has been implementing on Sarafbhata Union and Municipality of Rangunia upazila under Chittagong district.
Categories of Target Population: Migrants, particularly Aspirant, Returnee and Family members, Migration Related Organization (GO and NGO’s), Recruiting Agencies, Training Center.
- Conduct a research to identify the challenges and needs in fairer migration especially for the Youth and minority groups
- Conduct mapping on power dynamics in relation to fairer migration
- Develop database and register migrants’ families, potential migrants, recruiting agencies and Middleman (dalal) in targeted project areas
- Produce number of case studies on challenges, grievance and systems on fairer migration at local level for sharing it with respective stakeholders and link with national advocacy.
- Organize meeting with different stakeholders like DEMO, recruiting agencies, District Probashi Kollyan Desk, local administration, various training centres etc. for ensuring the cooperation and necessary services to the migrant people.
- Lobbying with local administration (Upazilla Nirbahi Office) to include migration issue in their monthly coordination meeting agenda.
- Arrange Media briefing on the status of migration in the project area based on the findings of baseline survey and progress monitoring
- Setup and run Fairer Migration Support Centre (FMSC) at Sharafbhata union Parisad and Rangunia pourosova office to receive any grievance from the community and provide information on fairer migration process documentation and facilitate migrants to follow the process.
- Provide training to the facilitators of Fairer Migration Support Centre (FMSC) and Union Digital Centre (UDC) on the migration rules and regulation, grievance mechanism in the FMSC and in engaging with vulnerable migrants.
- Receive and maintain record of the complains at FMSC by the facilitators as per the operational manual and issue a receipt. .
- Facilitate Migration Rights and Information Committee (MRIC) to arrange social arbitration to resolve the received complains in Fairer Migration Support Centre.
- Refer grievance by MRIC to BMET through DEMO office or other agencies
- Provide capacity development training on fairer migration process and their roles and responsibility, code of conduct to MRIC
- Monthly reflection meeting with MRIC for analyzing and identify further action.
- Develop Community based youth volunteer group and Provide capacity development training to youth volunteer group for working on Fairer migration at their own community
- Disseminate information on grievance system and fairer migration process through campaign (Community consultation, social media, Community radio, info graphs, day observance, etc)
- Knowledge sharing meeting with potential migrant and their family including women, youth and excluded group