Bangladesh Civil Society for Migration (BCSM), a network of migrant rights organizations, Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA), a regional network of 1000 civil society organizations based in Manila and the Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU) jointly observed one minute silence at 9 am Sunday (12 April) to mourn those migrants and nationals who died of COVID 19 both at home and abroad.
Speaking on the significance of the day William Gois, Coordinator of MFA stated that the virus has made us realise societies, engage in 'othering' based on immigration status, faith, gender and class but at the end of the day we are all human beings”.
BCSM Chair C R Abrar noted that in the developed world, during this crisis, the number of death among immigrant health professionals has been disproportionately high.
This only reflects the systemic discrimination against the migrants, said Syed Saiful Huque, Co-Chair of BCSM. He demanded immediate increase in the medical capacities to offset the tragic deaths.
Tasneem Siddiqui, founding chair of RMMRU, urged all not to disrespect religion by depriving the dead by refusing their last bath or denying them khatias. ‘By now it is well established that dead persons cannot spread the virus,’ she said.
A large number Bangladeshi diaspora in other countries and migrant support organizations in Asia participated in the campaign at 9am in their time zones.
Seven member organizations of Bangkok based regional human rights body Forum-Asia, nineteen member organizations of BCSM including WARBE DF, RMMRU, BOMSA, MJF, ASK, BASUG, IMA Research Foundation, INAFI, BCWWF, YPSA, BOAF, Bastob, Rights Jessore, DEVCOM, Films 4 Peace Foundation, Change Makers and about 300 NGOs and CSOs working in different parts of the country took part in the campaign.