Why Migrant dreams turned to ashes


Bangladeshis often embark on journeys abroad searching for a better life, only to encounter despair and hardship instead of the promised prosperity.

Most of them ended in illness and neglect is just one of many haunting examples of the plight faced by low-income expatriate workers.

Trapped in a cycle of exploitation, these individuals endure dire circumstances and, tragically, often return home in desperate need of medical assistance.

The number of migrant workers returning to Bangladesh due to health-related issues has been steadily increasing over the years, with a staggering 457 cases recorded in 2023 alone.

Yet, despite the alarming frequency of these incidents, there has been a glaring lack of official inquiry into the root causes of this health crisis.

Research conducted by organizations such as the Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU) sheds light on the hazardous working conditions faced by migrants, from unhygienic environments to excessive workloads and inadequate safety measures.

Women, in particular, face heightened risks, including sexual violence, further exacerbating their already precarious health and safety.

Compounding these challenges is the exorbitant cost of medical care in destination countries, rendering many low-income workers unable to afford essential treatment.


Moreover, the burden of financing overseas ventures often leads to mental stress and excessive workloads, further compromising the health of migrant workers.

The government must take decisive action to address the root causes of this crisis and prioritize the welfare of its expatriate workers.

Concrete steps must be taken to provide access to quality healthcare and protection from exploitation.

This includes implementing health insurance schemes and providing health cards alongside work permits to guarantee essential healthcare services.

Bangladesh must confront the hidden costs of migration and uphold its responsibility to ensure the well-being of its citizens, both at home and abroad.

Only then can we truly alleviate the suffering of those seeking a better future beyond our borders?

To that end, the government must collaborate closely with the governments of all recruiting countries.

They must try harder to ensure proper implementation of their labour laws and regulations.