Pre-GFMD Consultations Call to Raise Migrant Workers Plea

The Pre-GFMD national consultation on Gender-Responsive Sustainable Approaches to Human Mobility was held in Dhaka on Tuesday with a call to raise the migrant workers plea in the global forums.

The consultation set Bangladesh’s position in the upcoming 12th Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) Summit to be held during 18-22 November 2019 in Quito, Ecuador, said the organizers. 

Bangladesh in the recent years saw increased number of migrants returning as victims of prosecution, harassment, abuse and fraudulence.

The political and economic changes in both the Western and Middle Eastern countries increased an anti-migrant narrative, while the advancement and automation of industries has been changing the global market for workers.

The consultation was co-hosted by the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment, UN Migration Network and CSOs for Global Commitments on Migration (CGCM). The event was organized by Institute of Informatics and Development (IID) and Bangladesh Nari Sromik Kendra (BNSK) with support from PROKAS, British Council.

Speaking at the Pre-GFMD national consultations, senior officials and migration experts said that Male workers’ high migration cost remains a big challenge for the government.

Expatriates welfare and overseas employment ministry secretary Salim Reza said that the creation of a comprehensive database of  aspirant migrant workers and migrant workers skill development were top priorities of the government under its initiative for reducing the cost of migration.

He requested the stakeholders to extend their cooperation to the government in ensuring  safe, orderly, regular and low cost migration from Bangladesh.

UN Women country representative Shoko Ishikawa said that priority should be given to ensure that women migrants voices were  reflected in global forums.

She called for steps to protect the rights of the female migrant workers.

She said that the female migrants’ physical and psychological cost should be considered while sending them at zero migration costs.

British Council’s PROKAS Programme’ team leader Jerry Fox said that ‘We are working with the government to ensure that the workers get all the information before they migrate.’

EWOE ministry additional secretary Ahmed Munirus Saleheen stressed the need for the stakeholders to forge partnership to implement the global compact for migration and  sustainable development goals.

The consultations were held on the themes of GFMD 2019 on ‘Sustainable Approaches to Human Mobility: Upholding the Rights, Strengthening the State Agency and Advancing Development through partnerships and collective action.’

Contextual and gender-responsive issues were highlighted at the pre-GFMD tripartite consultations.

Foreign ministry director general Nazrul Islam, IOM chief of mission Giorgi Gigauri, WARBE Development Foundation chief Syed Saiful Haque, ILO chief technical adviser Laetitia Weibel Robert, PROKAS program’s Shirin Lira, IOM head of migration governance Shahreen Munir, OKUP executive director Omar Farique Chowdhury, UN Women’s program analyst Tapati Saha, Daily Star journalist Porimol Palma, Md Owasim Uddin Bhuyan of New Age and Arafat Ara of Financial Express spoke as panelists.

BNSK executive director Sumaiya Islam made the concluding remarks at the consultations moderated by IID chief executive Syeed Ahamed.

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