COVID-19's impacts on migrant workers from Bangladesh: In search of policy intervention
Planetary Health Research Fellow Byomkesh Talukder co-wrote this article.
Migrant workers play a significant role in the economy of Bangladesh, pumping approximately USD15 billion into the economy that directly contributes to the socio-economic development of Bangladesh every year. These workers and their dependents are in a socially vulnerable and economically difficult situation due to the dire impacts of the COVID-19. Migrant workers from Bangladesh in other countries are facing adverse impacts such as unemployment, short working hours, isolation, poor quality of living, social discrimination and mental pressure while their dependents at home are facing financial crisis due to the limited or reduced cash flow from their working relatives. A significant number of migrant workers have been sent back to Bangladesh and many are in constant fear of being sent back due to the impacts of COVID-19 in their host countries. Thus, COVID-19 intensifies numerous socio-economic crises such as joblessness, consumption of reserve funds by family members, and shrinking of the country’s remittance inflow. In this situation, the most urgent and important need is to give financial security and social safety to the workers abroad and those who have returned to Bangladesh. Apart from diplomatic endeavors to maintain the status quo of policy, the government of Bangladesh may take initiatives to provide financial support to these workers as a short-term strategy to overcome hardships during the pandemic and design a comprehensive plan with a detailed database of all migrant workers to create a need-based and skilled workforce as a long-term solution. These strategies can mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 at present and address migration related problems in future.
Keywords: COVID-19; Migrant workers; Remittance; National economy; Unemployment, Bangladesh
Mohammad Rezaul Karim, Mohammad Tarikul Islam, Bymokesh Talukder, COVID-19′s impacts on migrant workers from Bangladesh: In search of policy intervention, World Development, Volume 136, 2020, 105123, ISSN 0305-750X, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2020.105123.