Trade Union Kendra Chairman Md Nurul Islam speaks at a consultation on ‘Safe labour migration and Saarc policy on anti-trafficking’ marking the UN Convention 1990 on Migrants’ Entry into Force Day at the National Press Club yesterday.
WARBE Development Foundation in association with DanChurchAid organised the event. Experts at a consultation yesterday said South Asian countries should frame a regional migration policy to protect the rights of their respective nationals working in various countries of the world, who are often denied of their rights.
They also called for strengthening collaboration among the government, NGOs, civil society groups and trade unions to raise voices against exploitation of the migrant workers, who send annually a volume of over $6 billion remittance, the lifeline of the economy of Bangladesh.
These views were expressed at a national consultation on ‘Safe Labour Migration and SAARC Policy on Anti-Trafficking’ organised by WARBE Development Foundation in association with DanChurchAid at the National Press Club in the city to mark the UN Convention 1990 on Migrants’ Entry into Force Day.
Speaking as the chief guest, Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU) Coordinator Prof CR Abrar said the remittance sent by the workers is the lifeline of the country’s economy, but not enough has been done by the authorities to ensure their rights.
“Transparency and accountability is essential for safe migration,” he said, calling on the agencies concerned to initiate projects that directly benefit migrants and members of their families. The professor of International Relations at Dhaka University also urged the government to ratify the UN Convention 1990 facilitating actions to ensure migrants’ rights.
WARBE Development Foundation Chairman Syed Saiful Haque, while presenting a keynote paper, said all the SAARC countries should ratify the UN convention as well as the ILO conventions to protect their workers both at home and abroad.
Stressing on more involvement and cooperation among SAARC members and framing a comprehensive regional migration policy, he said SAARC should establish a regional migrants’ resource centre and have migration information centres at national levels to collect and register national and regional data on migration.
“SAARC countries should have a standard code of conduct for recruiting agents to ensure that workers get better wages and their rights are protected,” Syed Saiful Haque said. WARBE Development Foundation Secretary General Anisur Rahman Khan said migrant rights organisations, trade unions, research institutions, governments and civil society groups should raise their voice and work together for the welfare of the migrant community.
Presided over by Bangladesh Trade Union Kendra Chairman Nurul Islam, the conference was addressed by Rokeya Rafique of Kormojibi Nari, Nur Khan Liton of Ain-o-Shalish Kendra, Sheikh Mojibul Haque of Brac, Rezwanul Karim of Manusher Jonno Foundation, Syed Sultan Uddin Ahmed of Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies.