Bangladeshi expatriates living in Europe, American and Australasia will get smart cards to and access all welfare facilities like any foreign wage earner and migrant worker.The new draft policy on expatriates and migrant workers will provide equal status of foreign wage earners and would be dubbed as “golden boys” by the Ministry of Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment.
An estimated 111 million (1.11 crore) migrants are living in 162 countries and their annual remittance has risen to US$ 15 billion, said Minister for MoEWOE Nurul Islam BSc, at a seminar on Dias-pora, Migration and Deve-lopment jointly organized by The Netherland based BASUG and Films 4 Peace Foundation, Bangladesh at MoEWOE conference hall on Sunday.
Minister said “The demand of migrant is increasing day by day. “This year additional 20,000 more migrants workers have gone abroad with jobs.”Describing the staff, employees and officer of MoEWOE as “golden persons”, especially those under his shadows, he remarked. “There is no hanky panky in my ministry. Prime minister Sheikh Hasina has keen interest in the welfare of the migrant workers,” he added. MoEWOE Additi-onal Secretary Moham-mad Azharul Huq said the Ministry is setting a special cell for Diaspora living all over the world.
He said the new draft policy on migrant workers and expat wage earners is expected to be passed in the Parliament soon and will open doors for expanding welfare and facilities for expatriates abroad. He also said, that MoEWOE has embarked upon developing a diaspora mapping, which will enable the Bangladesh missions and ministry concerned to provide support on demand.
Bangladesh has established special offices for Bangladeshi migrant workers and expats in Australia, South Africa and Italy. More such offices will be opened in countries where diaspora are significant, said Azharul Huq. Others who
spoke at the seminar were Griffith University, Australia, Prof Moazzem Hossain, President of BASUG Germany Dr Ahmed Ziauddin, Chairman of BASUG, The Netherlands Bikash Chowdhury Barua and host Chairman, Films for Peace Foundation Pervez Siddiqui.
Dr Moazzem told the seminar that his research findings indicate that migrant’s household income distribution and calorie intake is very satisfactory.”Poverty among migrants is less that 10 percent and poverty has significantly reduced, compared to non-migrants household poverty remains at 36.36 percent,” the Australian professor concluded.
Bikash Chiwdhury urged the government to involve the stakeholders to evolve a migrant-friendly policy framework for the Bangladesh diaspora living and working abroad.
-Saleem Samad, AA