Transient Workers Count Too and the Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (HOME) submitted a joint shadow report to the Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families (CMW) on Bangladesh. It was submitted via the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva. This committee is the body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families by its State parties.

Bangladesh will be reviewed at the 26th session in April 2017.

Our report highlights five areas where we feel efforts by Bangladesh fall short. These are:

  • Failure to regulate recruitment agents within the Country of Origin, leading particularly to exorbitant recruitment costs and instances of deceptive recruitment;
  • Insufficient pre-departure orientation and training, leading to misassumptions or ignorance among workers of the conditions of employment and stay in Singapore;
  • Failure to engage with Country of Employment over multiple issues related to the employment and living conditions of Bangladeshi migrant workers, particularly (a) conditions akin to forced labour; (b) inequality of treatment; (c) restricted choice of residence and rent exploitation; (d) confiscation of identity documents and denial of the right to depart;
  • Failure to protect and provide assistance in the Country of Employment, e.g. lack of a shelter;
  • Access to justice and welfare services for returnee migrants, including recourse to compensation by deceptive agents and access to continuing medical care.

Bangladesh signed the Convention in 1998 and ratified it in 2011.  Singapore has not signed the Convention.

The shadow report (pdf, 10 pages) can be downloaded by clicking the image at left.

The Straits Times carried a story on 24 March 2017 about our submission (Archived copy here), as did the Daily Star, a newspaper in Bangladesh, a day later on 25 March 2017 (Archived copy here).