COVID-19 Learning, Evidence and Research (CLEAR) for Bangladesh: Impact of COVID-19 on Migration in Bangladesh

This paper discusses the post-COVID-19 migration landscape in Bangladesh and identifies the research gaps and policy opportunities that can ease the plight of migrants. A literature review of the existing evidence; Key Informant Interviews (KIIs), and a webinar among relevant government and non-government stakeholders were used to formulate this paper. More than 400,000 Bangladeshi migrant workers were forced to return during the pandemic. Findings reveal that COVID-19 has had a substantial impact on the sector. More than 400,000 Bangladeshi workers involuntarily returned due to the pandemic. Those aspiring to migrate abroad were stranded with an uncertain future and thousands stayed in their destination country during COVID-19 times, while those who remained abroad faced various difficulties triggered by COVID-19. Findings revealed that COVID-19 had a significant impact on migration. As a result, state and non-state actors have taken measures to contain its impact on the migrant crises. However, substantial policy and research gaps nonetheless exist. Some highlights from the findings include a lack of research on the magnitude and heterogeneity of the effect of the crises on different demographics, the need for a structural reintegration process and evaluation of its long-run impact, an absence of a database to track and profile migrants requiring assistance, governance failures, the dearth of knowledge on the impact of the crises on families and communities of migrants, and an urgent need for adherence to labour rights.

Authors: Hossain, Rakib; Khaleque, Afsana Binte; Mahmood, Sakib
Type: Scoping paper
Year: 2022