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This book investigates the alarming of fatalities among migrant workers. The authors argue that migrant workers are often powerless and unprotected by national laws, unearthing new truths on migrant workers as significant economic players.



1. Introduction: Understanding Migration and Fatalities

Population migration across the world has not only brought blessings but also pain to many people. Drawing on the recent migration theories and debates the chapter lays out the theoretical framework to understand the relation between migration and fatalities. The chapter explains how a set of variables including workers’ access to basic services, level of stress, nature of politics and policy contribute to increased fatalities of the migrants. With the data from South Asia, the authors explore causes of health hazards and fatalities of the migrant. The Institutionalised Dependency Trap (IDT) is also elaborated upon in this chapter in order to explain why and how migrant casualties happen, especially in the Middle East and Gulf countries. Attention has also been drawn to the policies of the receiving countries that serve only to intensify the dependency trap for the mostly South Asian migrants. The chapter presents the methodology and concludes with the organization of chapters in the book.

AKM Ahsan Ullah, Mallik Akram Hossain, Kazi Maruful Islam

2. Migrants’ Rights and Gaps in Protection

This chapter attaches emphasis on the central theme of this volume that deals with the rights of migrant workers. Having offered the overview of migration and the background of the research, this chapter analyses two key issues: the current protection mechanisms for migrant workers and their remittances. The chapter also explores the issues of remittances that support the livelihood of the migrants’ families, and the welfare fund for the migrants while they are trapped in the destination countries. The authors argue that the lack of protection encourages employers to be exploitative and reluctant to give workers the attention they deserve. The case study examples from KSA, Kuwait and Malaysia are presented to illustrate the severity of miseries of the migrants and the tale of stories of the dead which the families of the bereaved mistrust.

AKM Ahsan Ullah, Mallik Akram Hossain, Kazi Maruful Islam

3. Profiling the Deceased Migrants

Chapter 3 presents an analysis of the profiles of the migrants who died in the destination countries and their families living in Bangladesh in order to understand the context in which Bangladeshi worker fatalities occur. The chapter discusses the morbidity pattern and the demographic and socio-economic histories of the concerned families with a view to unearthing the level of vulnerability that they are exposed to after the death of a loved one. Putting forward the horrifying statistics of death casualties in the destination countries, the authors have evidenced the unrealistic claims as to the causes of death of the migrants in linking them to parental history. This chapter also touches upon an array of important facts, for example how much money was left at the destination, what mechanisms were used to recover the money, and how the families were compensated by the government or employers, if at all.

AKM Ahsan Ullah, Mallik Akram Hossain, Kazi Maruful Islam

4. The Price Migrants Pay, and Policies in Place

Chapter 4 attempts to charter the range of the migrants’ vulnerabilities to existing migration policies at both points of the migration process. At the onset, the dynamics of abuses and deaths of the migrants and their impact on the families are explored. Focusing on the evolution of migration policy of South Asia, including Bangladesh, this chapter critically discusses the factors shaping the migration policy of Bangladesh. How the institutional framework of international migration is governed is also examined in this chapter. The authors, through this chapter, have made a strong argument by saying that although migration is structurally essential for many of the growing economies in Asia, the existing legislation of Bangladesh is inadequate to address the challenges that migrants encounter. The chapter wraps up by looking at policy challenges and reviewing the laws and initiatives of receiving countries.

AKM Ahsan Ullah, Mallik Akram Hossain, Kazi Maruful Islam

5. Conclusions and Recommendations

The proliferation of people migrating on a global level, and the attendant financial transfers in the form of remittances, has brought migration to the forefront of the global development debate. However, migration has not had an equal impact on everyone. While for many, migration made huge positive changes in their lives, many others lost more than they gained. Migration losses come in myriad shapes, forms and scales.

AKM Ahsan Ullah, Mallik Akram Hossain, Kazi Maruful Islam


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