Bangladesh is a significant labor-sending country, with about 7.8 million Bangladeshis working abroad. Major destinations for migrant workers are the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. Female migrants represent 12 percent of the migration flow, with a majority engaged as domestic workers. Migration to GCC countries is characterized by short-term temporary migration, migration of low- and semi-skilled workers, laborers with low literacy level, debt-financed migration, and often migration through unofficial channels. The overseas labor recruitment industry often leaves migrants susceptible to human trafficking, forced labor, and modern slavery. Also, many migrants return empty-handed and with huge debt. The Population Council in partnership with the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery (GFEMS) undertook a study to better understand survivors’ and stakeholders’ perspectives on the kinds of policies, programs, and initiatives that could facilitate safer overseas labor migration for Bangladeshi migrant workers. A qualitative study was conducted with returned migrants in Faridpur and Munshiganjs, Bangladesh. These locations also served as an assessment of an intervention for economic and social reintegration. A stakeholder consultation provided an opportunity for participants to reflect on the study findings and brainstorm about research, program gaps, and recommendations.
Ainul, Sigma, Eashita Haque, K.G. Santhya, and Ubaidur Rob. 2022. "Assessment of overseas labor migration systems in Bangladesh." Dhaka: Population Council.