The year 2022 may show a 3.17 percent drop in remittance inflow to Bangladesh compared to 2021, a Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU) report revealed Thursday said.
The migrant workers sent $19.58 billion home during January-November of 2022. If this trend continues, the remittance income will stand at $21.36 billion at the end of the year, it added.
The report also assumed that the country's overseas employment will rise by 81.88 percent this year. Bangladesh sent more than 1.0 million workers abroad in the first 11 months of this year.
Employment will stand at more than 1.1 million at the end of the year, it added.
The report "Labour Migration from Bangladesh 2022: Achievements and Challenges" was disclosed in Dhaka.
RMMRU Chair Professor Tasneem Siddiqui, who presented the report, said: "Declining growth in remittance inflow depends on various factors. Workers are heavily dependent on hundi due to low rates in banks."
"Also, workers usually cannot send remittances in the first year of their migration. Every year a significant number of workers are cheated while going abroad, and they do not get the right jobs. Moreover, many of them arrange money from home to return."
The RMMRU chair suggested ensuring safe migration and increasing incentives for the workers to encourage them to send money through official channels.
"The incentive should be 10 percent for the remitters," she said. "If the apparel makers receive attractive cash incentive support, then why not migrant workers?"
The report showed that the skilled worker migration decreased in 2022 compared to the previous year. As of December 21, this year, of the total outbound workers, 17.76 percent were skilled workers; 21.33 percent of skilled workers went abroad in 2021.
Among the outbound Bangladeshis, the number of professionals is lower. However, it slightly increased compared to last year.
As of December 21, this year about 0.33 percent of professionals out of the total migrants went abroad with jobs. The number of professionals was 0.14 percent in 2021, the report said.
Some 99,684 women went abroad with jobs during January-November this year.
If the trend of outflow continues, the migration of women will increase by nearly 35 percent in 2022 compared to the previous year, the report said.
Quoting the US-based Trafficking in Persons report 2022, RMMRU said while the migration cost has decreased slightly, it is still the highest in South Asia for Bangladeshi migrants.
It also said although the opening of the Malaysian market was a major development in the outgoing year, workers are still suffering from unethical migration costs. "A section of recruiters continue this unethical practice."