Probashi Kalyan Board soon, draft act for opinion

DHAKA, Jan 7, 2017 (BSS) - The government would form the Probashi Kalyan Board soon as a draft law has already been made to set up a statutory organization for providing welfare services for migrant workers and their family members.

The draft Probashi Kalyan Board Act-2017 has put on the Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment Ministry's website for opinion.

Talking to BSS, additional secretary to the ministry Azharul Haq said that the concerned ministry will sit on January 12 next on the draft law after taking opinion.

According to the draft law, a 15-member body of the board will be formed with the secretary of the ministry concerned as its chairman. Its members will include three women. The board will have a director general with the rank and status of joint secretary.

The draft law was formulated in light with the International Convention on the Protection of Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, 1990.

Officials said about 1.3 crore Bangladeshi migrants have been employed in 162 countries and they remit annually more than US$ 15 billion to the country. Of them, seven lakh workers alone went abroad for job in 2016, expatriate welfare and overseas employment minister Nurul Islam said.

According to the ministry, 24.52 lakh workers went abroad for job from 2009 to 2013. Of them, 1.75 lakh are women workers.

The government formed the draft law for taking opinion for ensuring wellbeing of over one crore migrant workers and their four crore family members.

The activities of the welfare board would include setting up welfare desks at airports, implementing projects to ensure welfare of the migrant workers providing scholarships to their children and legal assistances to them, financing projects to set up migrants' information centers, hospitals and educational institutions.

For the female migrant workers facing various problems including abuses, accidents and illness, the welfare board's responsibility will be to take necessary steps to repatriate, rehabilitate, ensure treatment, realize compensations and provide legal aid for them.

The board would also take decisions to bury or bring back dead bodies of the expatriates, provide financial assistance to sick migrants, and give legal support to migrants' families at home and abroad.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)