Solidarity Centre-Bangladesh office on Monday organized an experience sharing meeting on Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration at its office conference room in the capital city.
Migrant rights activists, trade union leaders and journalists who took part in the discussion called upon the government to start implementing the GCM, signed by the UN member states for ensuring safe, orderly and regular migration.
They said that stakeholders including civil society organizations, NGOs and government would have to work together to implement the global compact on migration.
Solidarity Centre’s senior program officer Dr Lily Gomes moderating the discussion said that Bangladeshi migrant workers were going to different countries of the world for jobs.
The global compact could help protect their rights at all stages of migration, she said.
‘No migrant worker is illegal. Due to system, they often get undocumented in destinations. The global compact stresses on regularization of the migrant workers,’ said Lily Gomes.
Bangladeshi Ovhibashi Mohila Sramik Association director advocate Sumaiya Islam said that despite GCM has been non-binding document but its implementation was very necessary to strengthen safe, orderly and regular migration from Bangladesh.
She called upon the government to ensure that safe migration was never interrupted. ‘It is expected that workers will go abroad with decent jobs,’ he added.
Awaj Foundation director for migration Anisur Rahman Khan said that no country recruit Bangladeshi workers on mercy but for doing their jobs.
Many Bangladeshi workers have died or faced hardship while building ‘Twin Tower’ in Malaysia and other construction works in the Middle East,’ he added.
WARBE Development Foundation director Jasiya Khatoon said that database of the returnee migrant workers was urgently needed for implementation of the GCM
Due to lack of political willingness, the database of the returnee migrants was yet to be formulated, she said.
The ministry of expatriates welfare and overseas employment should take initiative to bring all stakeholders under a common umbrella to engage them with GCM implementation process, said Jasiya Khatoon.
Trade union leader Nazma Akter said that it is essential to ensure workers rights while they crossed border for overseas jobs.
She called for forging unity of the migrant labourers to realize their rights at home and abroad.
National Domestic Women workers Union general secretary Murshida Akter Nahar said that domestic workers were the most vulnerable classes in the society and their rights and dignity must be protected by laws.
BOMSA chairman Lily Jahan said that embassy officials should continue monitoring to protect the rights of the migrant workers.
The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) is an intergovernmentally negotiated agreement, prepared under the auspices of the United Nations, that describes itself as covering "all dimensions of international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner.”
The compact was formally endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly on 19 December 2018. As the Compact is not an international treaty, it will be non-binding under international law.
However, it may also have legal implications in some instances; for instance, the Crown Law Office of New Zealand published an opinion as guidance to the New Zealand Government, saying the Compact will not be legally irrelevant, and "courts may be willing...to refer to the Compact and to take the Compact into account as an aid in interpreting immigration legislation.”