Ministry of Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment
The Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment (MoEWOE) was founded in 2001 and made responsible for all matters relating to overseas Bangladeshi employment.
The Ministry aims to ensure that the welfare and rights of expatriate workers are met, and support the wider socio-economic development of the country.
The Ministry’s mission consists of five key principles:
- Ensure the welfare, security and rights of expatriate Bangladeshis and protection of their rights.
- Finding new labour markets and the expansion and protection of interests of the expatriate Bangladeshis.
- Enhancement of opportunities for improved employment through human resources development.
- Establishment of discipline in migration management, including reduction of the cost of migration.
- Creation of opportunities for the participation of migrants in the socio-economic development of Bangladesh.
To achieve this vision and mission, the Ministry formulates policies, plans, laws, rules and regulations, develops projects, programmes and monitors the management of overseas employment as well as overall welfare of expatriate workers.
To date, the Ministry has participated in the first consultative meeting of ADD, held in Abu Dhabi, UAE in 2008. It has also participated in the Abu Dhabi Dialogue Senior Officials’ Meetings (SOM), held in 2016 in Dubai, UAE, January 2017 and May 2018 in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
The Ministry has not yet participated in any Abu Dhabi Dialogue (ADD) pilot projects.
The Ministry has adopted the Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Policy 2016, on the basis of the Overseas Employment and Migration Act 2013.
The Ministry is working relentlessly to achieve the SDG goal 10.7 - facilitate orderly, safe and responsible migration and mobility of people through implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies. In line with this the Ministry has drafted an action plan to implement the policy and has aligned the SDGs with Bangladesh’s national 7th Five Year Plan.
The Ministry has undertaken the following steps to help achieve targets set by the SDGS:
- Maximum migration costs have been fixed for 16 most labour intensive countries.
- Zero migration costs have been settled for Domestic Service Workers in KSA, UAE, Jordan, Qatar and Oman.
- Several development projects implemented in line with SDG Action Plans.
- Several initiatives have been undertaken for skills development of migrant workers.
- Research initiatives have been undertaken to search new labour markets.
- Formation of the Vigilance Task Force (VTF) and appointment of executive magistrates in the Ministry to oversee the activities of Recruiting Agents (RAs) in compliance of Overseas Employment & Migration Act 2013.
- Framing Bilateral Agreements (BLA) and Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with destination countries as well as Multilateral Agreements.
- Holding bilateral and joint technical committee meetings with the Governments of Destination Countries.
- Participation in the Global Forum on Migration & Development (GFMD), Global Compact for Migration and other Regional Consultative Processes (RCPs).
The following steps are currently in process:
- Strengthening monitoring and enforcement of overseas employment Acts / Rules / Guidelines.
- Technical and vocational training institutions will be established in the migration lagging districts. Number of migrant workers should be increased from the lagging districts.
- Introducing “one–stop-services” in every district by bringing Technical Training Centres (TTCs), District Employment and Manpower Offices(DEMOs) and Probashi Kallyan Bank(PKB) in the same premises to provide all migration related services to aspirant / returnee migrant workers.
- Implementation of a nationwide awareness program on migration costs and safe migration.
- Implementation of initiatives for reintegration of returnee migrants and diasporas in economic development.
- Establishment of effective online complaint management systems.
- Engaging Recruiting Agents on ethical recruitment through training and motivational programs.
- Interventions by International Organizations in Destination Countries in order to reduce migration costs.
- Further work in partnership with NGOs, CSOs, CBOs and Development Partners.
In line with the SDG indicators 10.7, the Ministry has taken some innovative approaches:
- G2G arrangements have been made with some Countries of Destination (CODs) for recruitment of workers with minimum migration cost.
- Promotion of the direct recruitment system through government.
- Attempts to switch from an ‘employee pay recruitment’ model to an ‘employer pay recruitment’ model.
- Decentralization of services for the migrant workers up to district level such as Online Registration, Training, Smart Card, Finger Print etc.
- Enforcement of strict emigration procedures at all international airports to facilitate safe and regular migration and stop human trafficking.
The Ministry has also worked on the implementation of the Istanbul Plan of Actions, Colombo Process, Budapest Process and other international forums.