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Migrant workers’ rights: UN expert for monitoring recruitment process

UN Special Rapporteur Siobhan Mullally has sought urgent attention on monitoring situation in countries receiving migrant workers to ensure protection of their rights.

“There is a lot of attention being given to labour migration. We need much more focused attention on ensuring opportunities for women and ensuring protection of their rights as workers,” she told reporters at a press conference held in a Dhaka hotel on Wednesday afternoon.

Mullally laid emphasis on stronger monitoring in all stages of the recruitment process – who are making job offers, what is happening on arrival, what about their protection and the monetary issues.

The UN expert said absolutely it should not be at the cost of experiencing serious human rights violations.

She said there are steps that can be taken to improve those conditions to expand safe and regular opportunities for women with access to additional training.

The UN expert said receiving countries have obligation under the international laws and it is absolutely critical that women migrant workers continue to have opportunities for employment without discrimination.

Mullally said it is essential that the serious human rights abuses that they see in some recipient countries are addressed.

Particularly with regards to abuses of domestic workers, she said, these are very serious abuses. “Yes, that has been an ongoing priority area of work.”
The UN Special Rapporteur assessed the human rights issue of trafficking in persons during her official visit to Bangladesh from October 31 to November 9, 2022.

She paid particular attention to the main challenges to ensuring the human rights of victims, and effective prevention of trafficking.

A major concern was the risk of trafficking in the labour migration context, as well as risks faced by refugees, asylum seekers and stateless persons.

Trafficking for purposes of sexual exploitation and concerns in relation to child trafficking for all forms of exploitation were also examined, as will climate-related displacement and increased risks for those directly affected, particularly women and girls in rural areas, and indigenous peoples.

The Special Rapporteur travelled to Cox’s Bazar and Sylhet. She met representatives of government agencies, as well as UN officials, law enforcement bodies, members of civil society organisations and survivors.

The Special Rapporteur will present a comprehensive report of her visit to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2023.