The UN labour agency appealed to governments on Wednesday to support tens of millions of migrant workers forced to return to their homelands due to the coronavirus pandemic only to face unemployment and poverty.
“This is a potential crisis within a crisis,” Manuela Tomei, director of the ILO’s conditions of work and equality department, told a news conference. There are an estimated 164 million migrant workers worldwide, nearly half of them women, accounting for 4.7 percent of the global labour force, according to the ILO. Many work in health care, transport, domestic work and agriculture.
They include 500,000 Nepalese who returned from India, more than 250,000 Bangladesh is from the Middle East, 130,000 Indonesians, 100,000 Burmese and 50,000 Filipinos, mostly seafarers, ILO figures show. Ethiopia expects from 200,000-500,000 migrants to return by year-end, Leighton added. But not all left jobless in the Gulf want to repatriate, he said, adding that the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have relaxed restrictions on changing employers