Bangladesh should ban recruitment agencies from imposing fees on migrant workers for going abroad in search of jobs, a top official of International Confederation of Private Employment Agencies (CIETT) yesterday. “Ensure enforcement of the law, clean up the act and make Bangladesh a global icon among migrant-sending countries,'' said David Arkless, vice-chair of CIETT, at a multi-stakeholder roundtable on the recruitment of migrant workers.
Arkless suggested that the government take measures to ensure workers' identity cards and passports are not confiscated in employing countries and labour rights are protected.
The Institute of Human Rights and Business (IHRB), London and Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU) organised the two-day programme at Ruposhi Bangla Hotel.
Government officials, recruitment agencies, representatives of international organisations and unions working on migrant workers rights and various global brands took part in the programme.
Discussants suggested a multi-stakeholder platform involving government, trade unions, recruitment agents, multinationals and employers in the receiving countries to help protect the rights of migrant workers and stop abuse and discrimination in the employing countries.
''We want a multi-stakeholder platform that is about action,'' said John Morrison, executive director of IHRB.
He also echoed Arkless about zero tolerance to confiscation of workers' passports.
The calls for efforts to clean up the messy recruitment of migrant workers came as high fees charged by recruiting agencies here forced many to sell lands or take loans at high interest rates from the informal market to get jobs abroad.