Senior government officials, civil society leaders and migrants’ right activists have emphasized forging strong partnership among all stakeholders and taking concerted efforts to implement all of the objectives and goals of the Global Compact on Migration (GCM) to ensure safe, orderly and regular migration from Bangladesh.
Speaking at a virtual meeting on Saturday, they also emphasized on making adequate budgetary allocations by the government for effective reintegration of the thousands of migrant workers who were coming back home due to impact of COVID-19 pandemic.
They called for taking huge investment for creating jobs, improving livelihoods of countrymen and making people aware about irregular migration aimed to reduce vulnerabilities of the migrants at home and abroad.
The migration experts made their remarks while speaking at the e-workshop on GCM National Action Plan and Well-being of Returnees and Migrants Abroad during Pandemic.
The workshop was jointly organized by Bangladesh United Nations Network on Migration (BDUNNM) and Civil Society for Global Commitments on Migration (CGCM).
In the closing remarks, Dr. Ahmed Munirus Saleheen, Secretary of the Ministry of Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment, said that there were all beautiful objectives adopted in the GCM, formally endorsed in December 2018 by over 160 UN Member States in Morocco.
‘But implementation of the GCM has been challenge. So we need partnership of all,’ he said, adding that the government was very keen to implement the GCM to ensure safe, orderly and regular migration.
The EWOE secretary said that the global corona pandemic has already impacted labour migration of Bangladesh and the government has been trying to address the emerging challenges to mitigate the vulnerabilities of the migrant workers.
Setting the tone-GCM in light of crisis, former foreign secretary Shahidul Haque said that the GCM comprised a total of 23 objectives for better managing migration at local, national, regional and global level.
Shahidul, also the IOM advisor, said that the COVID-19 has started negatively affecting the labour migration and inflow of remittance of Bangladesh.
In his remarks, Giorgi Gigauri, Chief of Mission of IOM Bangladesh stressed the need for incorporating inputs of actors including the civil society to finalize the GCM National Action Plan and prioritize its objectives.
Speaking about needs of the migrants and responses from the development partners, British Council’s PROKAS programme’s team leader Gerry Fox said that hundreds of Bangladeshi migrants returned home due to impact of pandemic and he highlighted reintegration of the returnee migrants.
Responding to the needs of migrants in global experience, foreign ministry’s director general Nazrul Islam said that many of the Bangladeshi migrant workers were facing problems abroad as they did not have proper understanding on the native languages.
Separate group discussions on GCM objectives were moderated by WARBE Development Foundation chairman Syed Saiful Haque, BRAC migration programme head Shariful Hasan, OKUP chairman Shakirul Islam, independent expert Asif Muner and Devcom managing director Hassan Imam Shaon.
The Bangladesh UN Network on Migration has been supporting the government of Bangladesh in the formulation of the GCM National Action Plan which includes prioritization of GCM objectives under five thematic areas.
The implementation and review of GCM was being overseen by an inter-ministerial coordination mechanism, said the organizers.
During GFMD side-event at Quito, organized by CGCM and MoFA, they highlighted the stakeholder engagement in prioritizing and implementing GCM in local level.
Among others, Shahreen Munir, Secretariat, Bangladesh UN Network on Migration and Sumaiya Islam from CGCM also took part in the discussion.
The whole e-workshop was hosted and moderated by Syeed Ahamed, chief executive of IID.