A bill titled ‘Overseas Employment and Migrant Workers Bill, 2013’ was placed in Parliament on Sunday seeking to bring discipline in the country’s manpower export business.
The Bill has a provision for maximum 10-year imprisonment and at least Tk 500,000 in fine for violation of the law in sending workers abroad.
Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Engr Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain placed the bill in Parliament that was sent to the respective Parliamentary Standing Committee for further scrutiny. The Committee has been asked to submit their report within five days.
The proposed law also has a provision of seven years rigorous imprisonment and fine of Tk 300,000 for any forgery of demand letter, visa and work permit as well as for publishing any false advertisement.
The previous law that was enacted in 1982 had the provision of maximum one year imprisonment and highest Tk 5,000 fine for all types of violation of rules.
The proposed law seeks to make the activities of the overseas recruiting agencies transparent, ensure their accountability and protecting the rights and interests of the migrant workers.
The proposed law has provisions for delivery of justice against the offenses in connection with overseas employment.
The proposed new law will replace the existing ‘Immigration Ordinance 1982' for recruiting agencies to check forgery, deception and illegal practice to protect the interests of the overseas job seekers and migrants as well as their welfare.
The proposed law provides for filing case by an aggrieved person against the recruiting agency in the court. It also has specific guideline about the procedure of filing cases, acceptability of the cases, bail and compensation.
The Cabinet on August 12 approved the draft ‘Overseas Employment and Migrant Workers Bill 2013’.
The new law will allow the migrant workers to file cases directly against the recruiting agencies involved in fraudulence and other irregularities.
The existing law enacted in 1982 has the provision for maximum one year imprisonment and highest Tk 5,000 fine for violation of the law in migration of workers.
The cheated migrant workers will now have the opportunity to go to courts seeking redress and the offences under the proposed law will be included in the schedule of the Mobile Court Act 2009 for quick disposal of cases.
The court will have to dispose of the cases filed by migrant workers or overseas job seekers in four months after the charge framing and in case of failure to do so it will have to record a reasonable ground to get two more months.