A national consultation for the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) on Tuesday stressed the need for protecting rights of the migrant workers without considering them as development tools.
Migration experts, development partners, lawmakers and senior officials took part in the day long consultation, organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), WARBE Development Foundation in collaboration with Bangladesh Civil Society for Migration at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon in Dhaka.
Presiding over the closing session, Bangladesh foreign secretary Shahidul Haque described migration as a geo political issue and it should not be considered merely a technical labour issue.
He said that migration has been part of the economics as more and more debates were taking place with migration issues in the World Bank and ADB.
Barrister Shamim Haider Patwary MP, also member of the parliamentary caucus on migration said that the country’s education system and foreign policy should be based on expatriate workers who were the nerve line of the country’s economy.
Bangladesh missions abroad should open cells for the country’s migrant workers to provide services for 24 hours as per their demand, he said.
About the middlemen issue, he said that the government could not make recruiting agencies responsible unless their agents were recognized.
‘Recognize the middlemen and give them ID cards to hold them responsible,’ he said.
Former MP and member of Parliamentary caucus on migration and development Mahjabeen Khaled said that migration contributed to diversity and development.
She said that ‘Migration is driver of economic growth, innovation and sustainable development and it contributes to achieving SDGs-8 on economic growth and 10 on reduced inequalities.’
In her welcome speech, Marina Sultana, secretary of Bangladesh Civil Society for Migration, said that they were working to raise the voices of migrants to the global forums.
Expatriates welfare and overseas employment ministry joint secretary Zahid Hossain that the government was giving priorities on safe and regulation migration and skill development for overseas jobs.
‘Migration is considered as the development tools for the country,’ he said, adding that migration has been important component in reducing the poverty in Bangladesh.
In his presentation, WARBE Development Foundation chairman Syed Saiful Haque, also co-chair of BCSM, elaborated the history of GFMD and its roles in global arena.
‘Created in 2007, the GFMD is a state-led, informal and non-binding process shaped the global debate on migration and development.’
About the 12th GFMD Summit, he said that it would be held in Quito, Ecuador and was expected to gather relevant multi stakeholders under theme ‘Sustainable Approaches to Human Mobility: Upholding Rights, Strengthening State Agency, and Advancing Development through Partnerships and Collective Action.
Chairman parliamentarian Caucus Israfil AlamMP, IOM chief of mission in Bangladesh Giorge Gigauri, MoFA director general Nazrul Islam and EU delegation’ second secretary Audrey Maillot also spoke at the consultation.