BRAC’s migration programme is working to establish a platform where all migrant organisations (NGOs, CBOs, and migration forums) will be working actively to protect the rights of migrant workers from grassroots to regional level. At the grassroots level, the programme has developed partnership with 80 CBOs and local NGOs. At the national level, the National Alliance for Migrants Rights in Bangladesh (NAMR, B), a network comprising of various NGOs is coordinating the advocacy initiatives from community to national level to international level. Regionally, the migration programme is an active member of CARAM Asia, addressing migration-related issues at destination countries.
Major advocacy activities of BRAC Migration Programme
National consultation to protect migrant rights at GCC countries
BRAC’s migration programme supports national consultation on ‘Kafala violating migrant rights: Can FIFA help to abolish?’. The consultation was arranged by National Alliance for Migrants’ Rights Bangladesh (NAMR, B) with the support of BRAC. The consultation targeted to advocate for the protection of migrant workers through FIFA as Qatar is the host for FIFA World Cup 2022. Mr Kazi Abul Kalam, Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment and Mr Md Golam Mustafa Khan, Joint Secretary, BMET were also present at the meeting. A cross-section of people including government, academics, journalists, lawyers, rights and development activists as well as members of national and international organisations was present at this consultation.
National consultation on ‘Significance of Remittance: Poverty Alleviation and Livelihood Development in Bangladesh’
A consultation on ‘Significance of Remittance: Poverty Alleviation and Livelihood Development in Bangladesh’ was arranged by BRAC’s migration programme on 20 June 2013 at BRAC Centre Inn, Dhaka. Practitioners, academics, economists, researchers, government officials, service providers, media and activists were present at the consultation.
The participants discussed about the importance of remittance in the country’s economy and development and also the importance of developing proper policies to manage the migration and remittance flow and how to maximise the use of remittance to tackle poverty, and create alternative livelihood options.
Press conference for reviewing Greece shooting verdict
Shocked by the news of Greece court verdict, National Alliance for Migrants’ Rights, Bangladesh (NAMR, B) demanded Greece shooting verdict should be reviewed justifiably. To gain attention from the Government of The People’s Republic of Bangladesh, this network conducted a press conference at National Press Conference on 6 August 2014.
Demands of NAMR, B
National Alliance for Migrant Rights, Bangladesh (NAMR,B) strongly demands the following issues to the Government of Greece
• Impartial review of the verdict by the Greek Supreme Court and ensuring justice for affected workers of Manodala, Greece
• Appropriately compensate the affected migrant workers and help them to get adequate legal representation
• Ratify the 1990 convention on the protection of the rights of all migrant workers and members of their families
Seminar on re-integration of returnee migrant workers: Opportunities and challenges
BRAC demanded a new re-integration policy and database for returnee Bangladeshi migrants at a seminar on ‘Reintegration of the returnee migrant workers: Opportunities and challenges’ organised by BRAC in association with OKUP and WARBE DF at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) on 18 December 2014.
Mr Hassan Imam, Programme Head, Migration Programme, BRAC in his presentation recommended a separate re-integration policy and strategy. He also pointed out the importance of re-integration. He suggested an independent returnee database for returnee migrants.
Speaking as the chief guest , Engineer Khandker Mosharraf Hossain, MP, Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment acknowledged that re-integration is the most important aspect of migration management and government will consider this issue. He appreciated the organisers and stated that, this is first time he is hearing about re-integration issue during his six years tenure as a minister of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment.
Mr Khandakar Md Iftekhar Haider, Secretary, Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment, highlighted the needs for initiatives to protect the rights of the returnee migrants.
Highlighting the need for re-integration policy and a new database for returnee migrants, Ms Sheepa Hafiza, Director, Gender Justice and Diversity and Migration Programme, BRAC urged for collective initiatives for social and economic re-integration.
Among others, Ms Saheen Anam, Manusher Jonno Foundation, Mr Shakirul Islam ,Chairman, Ovibashi Karmi Unnayan Programme ,OKUP and Mr Faruque Ahmed, WARBE DF, participated in the discussion. The programme was presided over by Begum Shamsun Nahar, Director General, Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET).