12th GFMD summit Begins in Ecuador
Photo: Migration News

The 12th summit of the Global Forum on Migration and Development begins (January 21) today in Quito, the capital city of Ecuador.

This year’s GFMD Summit is the climax of the Ecuador GFMD Chairmanship focused on the central theme: “Sustainable approaches to human mobility: Upholding rights, strengthening state agency, and advancing development through partnerships and collective action.”

Global migration experts, civil society organizations, government delegates and diplomats arrived in Quito to attend the four-day GFMD summit to find out the better ways for implementation of Global Compact on Migration, adopted in Morocco after 11th GFMD summit in 2018 aimed to ensure safe, orderly and regular migration.

A high profile Bangladesh official delegation led by Foreign Minister MA Momen is scheduled to take part in the inaugural session of the 12th GFMD summit today.

Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Ministry officials informed that Bangladesh government was looking the overseas migration as an integral component of the county’s development aspiration.

EWOE ministry additional secretary Dr Ahmed Munirus Saleheen  who is attending the GFMD summit said that Bangladesh considered overseas migration as driving force of development. For this reason, the government has strongly emphasizing the promotion of the migration of the skilled workers to benefit the migrant workers, he said.

In her written statement, Parliamentarians’ Caucus on Migration and Development Mahjabeen Khaled, a former MP, echoed that Bangladesh looks migration as an integral component of her development aspiration.

Mahjabeen is in Quito, Ecuador to attend GFMD summit said that in national wealth creation and development- the role of remittance (around 18 billion USD per year) has been immense.

‘The government constantly advocates in favor of ethical recruitment, opening up of new legal pathways, responsible migration, decent work, protection of migrant’s rights including that of their family members, lowering the costs of remittance sending, portability of earned benefits, diaspora engagements, and informed and sustainable voluntary return.’

Officially in 1976, migration from Bangladesh for overseas work started to the Middle-Eastern countries. Though the numbers rose fast, it has become the most important third-pillar of Bangladesh’s economy.

The remittance grew by nearly 18 per cent to a record USD 18.42 billion in the just-passed 2019 for a government effort to incentivise remitters.

Bangladesh is one of the top five migrant sending countries in the world but in terms of remittance received, Bangladesh's position is within top ten recipient countries.

In the past 40 years, over 10 million Bangladeshis migrated to over 165 countries as skilled, semi-skilled or less-skilled workers, and some as professionals.

Bangladesh delegation, Parliamentarians’ Caucus on Migration and Development chairman Israfil Alam MP told Migration News that many Bangladeshi migrant workers became frequently exploited in the destination countries.

 “As the rights of Bangladeshi migrant workers, their rights must be protected everywhere,” he said

He noted that ‘unfortunately we still see migrant worker, sometimes, using illegal channel. Most of the cases they do not have knowledge that their used channel is illegal and harmful for them as well as for country.’

“As a result the migrant workers are falling in a victim to fraudulent activities, leading loss to the lifetime savings and bears harassment in all steps of migration process,” he said.

British Council’s PROKAS programme team leader Gerry Fox, British Council’s Senior IBP Manager and Gender and Social Inclusion Adviser Shirin Lira, WARBE Development Foundation chairman Syed Saiful Haque, Awaj Foundation director Anisur Rahman, Ovibashi Karmi Unnayan Program chairman Shakirul Islam, Bangladesh Nari Sramik Kendra executive director Sumaiya Islam, Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit director Marina Sultana, IID Chief executive Syeed Ahmad arrived in Ecuador to attend the GFMD summit.

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