Past Events 2018

Fresher Training of GMC
Venue: Poshoshik Porshod Hall Room
Date: 10 February 2017
Organized by RMMRU
Supported by PROKAS, British Council
 
Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU) organized training on “Fresher Training of GMC” on 10 February 2017. The training programme took place at Poshoshik Porshod Hall Room, Tangail. All members of RMMRU Mediation Advisory Group, members of RMMRU Migration Mediation Committee (RMMC) and Youth Volunteer Group, affected migrants participated in this programme. The sessions of the orientation were conducted by Mr. Assistant Commissioner, Tareen Moshrur, DC office, Tangail Tangail, Advocate Abu Raihan, Advocate Mohammad Humayun Kabir Tangail District Bar Association, Advocate Ms. Jahanara Begum, Tangail District Bar Association. Ms. Marina Sutana, Director, Programme moderated the training programme.
The Training was divided on three sessions highlighted on

• Mediation
• Migration Act 2013
• Migration Services for Safe Migration

In the session on safe migration and migration services, participants became aware of the process of migration through the Video documentary named “Jatra “ of RMMRU. Ms Marina Sultana, Director Programme showed the services of migration provided by BMET, Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare & Overseas Employment, Pobashi Kollayan Bank, Wage Earners’ Welfare Board, BAIRA, BOESL, RMMRU and other services through their websites after completing group work on migration services on group work. On Mediation Session, participants participated in role play of mediation where lawyer provided their opinion on mediation. And in the final session three lawyers read out the migration act 2013 taking all participants in three group work. Assistant Commissioner presented the migration act 2013 and mediation. Representative from RMMRU reflected the process the mediation according to Migration Mediation Module of RMMRU
Major Findings of the Training

• Mediation on migration fraudulence is accepted and appraised by the local people by the grassroots people even by the middleman
• Middleman is becoming concern about their activities as they are becoming accountable by this mediation process
• The involvement of National Legal Aid Services with RMMRU for reducing fraudulence through Mediation made a positive response among the grassroots people and mediators are becoming more confident about their work
• Lawyers praised the role of mediator and youth volunteer group for conducting mediation through proper way and following the steps of mediation

Pre-dissemination workshop on its second phase of the landmark panel-data research ‘Impact of Migration on Poverty and Local Development,
Venue: CIRDAP
Date: 31 January 2018
Organized by RMMRU
Funded by Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
 
Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU) organized a pre-dissemination workshop on its second phase of the landmark panel-data research ‘Impact of Migration on Poverty and Local Development, IMPD’ on 31 January 2018 at CIRDAP Auditorium, Dhaka. The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Bangladesh has supported both the first and the second round of the survey. The study was conducted by Professor Tasneem Siddiqui, Dr. Ananta Neelim, and Dr. Chowdhury Rashaad Shabab and coordinated by Mr. Mahmudol Hasan Rocky. The goal of the pre-dissemination workshop was to share the preliminary research findings with the lawmakers, economists, development experts and media with a view to receiving feedback on probable findings to be highlighted in the next publication. The programme was started with the Welcome address and the rationale of the workshop by Mrs. Marina Sultana, programme Director, RMMRU. The photographs taken from twenty different study areas by the field enumerators were presented then. At this session, Lead researcher of IMPD and founding Chair of RMMRU, Professor Tasneem Siddiqui shared core findings before the guests. The State Minister for the Foreign Affairs Mr. Md. Shahriar Alam M.P. was the chief guest in the inaugural session. Honourable State Minister distributed certificates and prizes to the field enumerators in best photography, best enumeration, best supervision and best data entry categories. Ms. Nazia Haider, Senior Programme Officer represented SDC as a special guest. In the working session, Dr. Ananta Neelim presented the findings in detail before the audiences. Dr. Atiq Rahman Executive Director of BCAS, Dr. Abdur Rob Khan Dean, School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS) North South University, Mr. Md. Dildar Hossain Project Director of BBS, Ms. Shahreen Munir National Programme Officer for Labour Mobility and Human Development, International Organization for Migration (IOM), Dr. Bazlul H. Khondker, Chairman of SANEM, Dr. Rashed Al Mahmud Titumir, Chairman, Unnayan Onneshan discussed as panelists at the workshop. French Ambassador to Bangladesh, H.E. Mrs. Marie-Annick Bourdin was also present at the programme along with distinguished guests to the pre-dissemination workshop and provided with valuable comments to the research outcomes.
Validation Workshop
Organized by: RMMRU
Supported by: ILO
Venue: CIRDAP auditorium
Date: 29 January 2018
 

The validation workshop was arranged under the project: An Assessment into Migrant Workers Information System and Labour Market Information System in Bangladesh, supported by ILO. The consultation was chaired by Dr. C R Abrar, Executive Director, RMMRU. Mr. Md. Nazrul Islam, Member, Human Rights Commission (NHRC) was present as the Chief Guest of the program.

After the welcome note by Dr. C R Abrar and address by Ms. Rahnuma Salam Khan, National Program Officer of ILO, study presentations were held by Mr. S N Azad, Senior Fellow, RMMRU. The first presentation was held on Data Gaps and Needs Study which mainly focus on the analysis the gap in data for a better understanding of the relevance and impact of any data gaps identified. The presentation was discovered data that are available, their strengths and limitations and what data are regarded as important but not available to answer essential development questions.  After the presentation, the session supported discussions within and across agencies, organizations and communities on how to bridge data gaps and sustain data assets.

The second presentation was presented by Md. Mazharul Islam, System Analyst, Daffodil IT and Team Member, MIS Data Integration Project, RMMRU. This presentation highlighted Data Integration Design of the project aimed at ensuring the most accurate collection of migrants and labor market information in a place which will help the government (and other migrants related stakeholders to help government) to make a better development policy according to the analysis and manage the migrants related tasks digitally.

Other representatives from BRAC, DEMO, WEWB, IOM, Dnet, BEF, Daffodil IT, CPD, ASK, WARBE, and Dhaka University also attended the program. Overall, active participation by the representatives made the consolation very informative and productive. 

Multi-stakeholders consultation
Organized by: RMMRU
Supported by: ILO
Venue: CIRDAP
Date: 17 January 2018
 
The first Multi-stakeholders’ consultation was successfully held from 9.30 am to 2:00 pm on 17 January, 2018 under the project: An Assessment into Migrant Workers Information System and Labour Market Information System in Bangladesh, supported by ILO. The consultation was chaired by Dr. C R Abrar, Executive Director, RMMRU. Mr. Md. Amir Hossain, Director General, Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics was present as the Chief Guest of the program. Also, Mr. Gazi Mohammad Julhash, DG, WEWB, and Mr. Nurul Islam, Director, BMET were present as Special Guest of the program. The keynote paper was presented by Mr. Deepa Bharathi, Chief Technical Advisor of ILO. Mr. S N Azad, Senior Fellow, RMMRU presented on Survey of Data and a Comparability Study.

Other representatives from A2i, BGTTC, BRAC, World Bank, DEMO, IOM, SDC, Dnet, DYD, BEF, WARBE, BOMSA, YPSA, Daffodil IT, CPD, OKUP, ASK, Dhaka University, and Awaj Foundation also attended the program.

The meeting started with welcome note and presentations. After that, representatives from different organizations actively participated in discussion. The first presentation was presented the comparability analysis of internal system with overseas database system in Sri-Lanka and Nepal. The next presentation focused on field survey and key findings from the survey. After both presentations, an active discussion was held and very significant comment and recommendation were come from the discussion.

Report on 4th Quarterly Reflection Meeting of IBP Partners
Date: 9-11 January 2018
Venue: BRAC-CDM, Gazipur
Organised by: RMMRU
Supported by: PROKAS
 
RMMRU and C3ER jointly organized the 4th Quarterly Reflection Workshop, two days long residential programme , on 10-11 January, 2018 , which was supported by PROKAS. To provide a platform for IBP partner organizations a quarterly reflection workshop is organized to share their achievements, challenges and learning over the last three months and also discuss the ways forward with planned interventions. Dr. Ainun Nishat, Emeritus Professor, C3ER, BRAC University and Marina Sultana, Director Programme, from RMMRU welcomed everyone in the two days workshop. Ms. Catherine Cecile of PROKAS thanked RMMRU and C3ER to organize this programme.

Hosne Ara Lutfa Dalia, MP, Member of Parliamentary CAUCAS and Dr Atiq Rahman, Executive Director of BCAS presented as the guest of the programme.

The participant of the programme consists of 65 members from Climate Finance Transparency Mechanism (CFTM) project and the Fairer Labour Migration (FLM) Project. CFTM is being implemented by a Consortium of five organizations, consists of Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS), Centre for Climate Change and Environmental Research (C3ER), COAST Trust, Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods (CSRL) and International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD). Whereas, the FLM consortium consists of Institute of Informatics and Development (IID), Young Power in Social Action (YPSA), WARBE Development Foundation, Bangladesh Ovhibashi Mohila Sramik Association (BOMSA), and Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU). In this programme all IBP partners shared their achievements of last quarter. Experts from Migration sector and Climate provide their opinion.

Hosne Ara Lutfa Dalia, MP explained that “Most of the local people try to hide the matter of migration so in this case the assistance of local chairman, member or women member is required. She stated “each layer of local government should be utilized properly. As the local people trust the local people more, the local representatives should be given some sort of powers.”

Ms. Catherine Cecile She stated that “All of the IBP partners whether related to labour migration or climate governance have undertaken a bridge of innovative efforts to focus on gender equality and social exclusion. In one side Labour Migration Governance have placed their focus on the middlemen issue in migration processing and developed various mechanisms to address this matter on national level. On the other side took the opportunity to influence global actors and shake global conversation while showcasing the climate plural”

Dr. Ainun Nishat said that “Train the labour migrants for specific jobs like- caretakers, cultural education, taking care of environment will help them to find job abroad easily.”

National Advocacy Workshop on Fair and Ethical Recruitment Practice of Female Migrant Worker
Venue: The Olives Hotel
Event Date: 9th January 2018
Organized by: RMMRU in Association with WIF Project, International Labor Organization (ILO)

 The Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU) has organized the National Advocacy Workshop on Fair and Ethical Recruitment Practice of Female Migrant Worker in collaboration with the International Labor Organization (ILO). Ms. Marina Sultana, Director, Program, RMMRU, moderated the workshop. The opening session was chaired by Dr. A.S.M Ali Ashraf, Adjunct Research Fellow RMMRU. Mr. Md. Nazrul Islam, Full time Member, National Human Rights Commission Bangladesh was present as chief guest.

Major Contents of the Workshop:

Present Scenario of Recruitment Practice and Legal Framework to Solve Problem: Dr. A.S.M Ali Ashraf has tried to throw light on the issue of how recruitment system works in Bangladesh at present time. He has pointed out some major problem regarding fair recruitment; female migrant workers are still paying subagents to facilitate their migration process when officially they do not need to pay money to the agents or subagents, sometimes female migrants are trafficked. Dr. Ashraf has also pointed out some normative approach to ensure that female migrant workers are recruited ethically. For example, he mentioned the Prevention and Suppression of Human Trafficking Act 2012 and Overseas Employment and Migration Act 2013. He urged to deal with fraudulent cases under the 2013 act and asked to promote awareness on the issue of fair and ethical recruitment at the grass root level.

Unethical Recruitment: Practical Experience Sharing: Bithi Akhtar was a returnee migrant who had worked in Saudi Arabia in 2017 was present in the workshop to share her real life experiences in abroad as a domestic worker. She is originally from Khulna, happily married and has two children (one 3 years old another recently died). Insufficient economic condition compelled her to opt for migration in Saudi Arabia. She paid 25000 BDT to a subagent who managed her to migrate. She took six months training in housekeeping and was recruited in a Mega Company in Saudi Arabia. Her agent told that she will get at least 25000 BDT per month salary but when she migrated she was offered no salary for the first 6 months. After first half of a year when she asked her Kafil (recruiting company in Saudi Arabia) to pay money she was sold another house for 2 months. When she demanded her salary, she was again sold at another house. She told that she was physically tortured three times and fall trap of sexual harassment once. Even she was not allowed to talk to her family.

Expert Opinion 1: Mr. Shameem Ahmed Chowdhury Noman-Representative BAIRA: Mr. Noman have pointed out that Bithi Akhtar was actually not sold, as she was recruited under a Mega Company, she was sent to work for house on contact basis. He was regretful that she was not paid and was not notified at her child death. He maintained impartiality in his comment on the issue and told that we can only send migrants but are not liable to take the responsibility to provide safety and security of their life. Government is actually responsible to take the charge to secure migrants life, but in his perception government is also unable to take that charge because reduced level of manpower to safeguard each migrants’ life. Mr. Noman is empathetic that migrants are still suffering but he told he is unable to provide absolute security to the migrants with limited government intervention. Mr. Noman recommended some ways Bangladesh government can follow; Indonesian model of sending migrants to ensure ethical and fair recruitment, sending more labor attaché in the host courtiers, bilateral negotiation, and search for alternative international labor market, help migrants to take mental and physical preparation. He specifically pointed some steps to taken to solve existing problem, as;

I. Improving training quality for the female migrant workers.
II. Increase training duration from 1 month to 6 months.
III. Language problem should seriously be solved.
IV.  Making strong relationship between recruiting agencies with government agencies.
V. Ensuring Migrants are taking their SMART-Card.
VI.  Search for alternative labor market.

Expert Opinion 2: Rafiqul Islam Khan Alam-Policy Analyst at INCIDIN Bangladesh: Mr. Alam pointed out that the gap of discussion on the issue of fair and ethical recruitment practice of female migrant workers is making the situation more vulnerable to apprehend. Being pessimistic, he showed his concern for those who are still working in Arab States and for those who are tending to go there for working. In his perception Islamic Principals are virtually dominating the Arab culture but in reality they are even now way more barbarous as they had been 1400 years ago. They take domestic worker as their slaves and think they have their right to abuse sexually, physically or even in ways beyond our imagination. He is also concern for those migrants who earn money at the cost of dignity. Mr. Alam share his experience of talking to a female migrant working in Jordan that particular migrant was rapped gradually and consecutively by 7 male members of the host family. Mr. Alam was happy to share some of his concerning to the stakeholder present at the workshop;

I. We should ensure our dignity first, otherwise we will lose our identity.
II. Safe, secure and dignified work, otherwise stop migration.
III. Returnee migrants should be offered with added rehabilitation facilities.

Extended Load and Low Payment: Experience Shared by Jahida Begum: Miss Jahida Begum was one of those returnee migrants who were allured by subagents (DALAL) to migrate in Oman at the expense of 20000 BDT. Firs time she did not took any formal training of housekeeping nor had her contact paper prior to take flight for Amman. She stayed there for 1 year but she was not offered her promised salary. Dalal said she will get 20000 BDT but she got only 12000 BDT. Now she is intending to migrate in Saudi Arabia with a formal training from Bangladesh Korea Technical Training Center (BKTTC). This time she wants to migrate in Saudi because in that very country she can get salary of about 20000 BDT.

Expert Comment 1: Ms. Rokeya Rafeque Executive Director, Kormojibi Nari: Migration is like the golden deer, we should never say no to migration because the way migration helped our economy is appreciable and praiseworthy, and this typical narrative was marked by the voice of Miss Rafaque. She recognized the short comings of migration but she exposed that every profession has it respective challenges; we better address the challenges to make it smooth. She said those who said women are not safe abroad; do they have any reason to explain how far women are safe in Bangladesh? Economic as well as family need actually enforcing women to expatriate, can you exemplify someone with economic sufficiency migrate? She encouraged organizing informed migration so that the migrants are aware of their upcoming challenges and can meet the challenges with courage and confidence. He reiterated the importance of migration to sustain economic independence of Bangladesh at the same time to empower women respectively. Miss. Rafeque advised the concerning authority to advertise safe, secure and informed migration.

v    Expert Comment: Tapati Saha from UN Women: UN can ensure that women working in Saudi Arabia could get the dignity prescribed by the UN law. Because Most of the Arabian states are not the signatory of UN Labor Law Charter nor even a signatory of UN Women Convention. Still, we need to work in those countries to promote women’s right. She has recommended some points as;

 I. Civil society based monitoring in the host country.
 II. Community initiative to solve domestic violence against migrant workers
 III. We need to upgrade the professional training for migrating women.

Expert Comment: Asif Munier, Independent Consultant: Mr. Munier pointed some notes for women empowerment as (i) life skills (ii) training (iii) monitoring by the govt. and (iv) interactive tools of teaching. Being pessimistic he said ILO labor laws are only an idealistic tool which is groundless in many respect. We should regular FNF VISA to make fraudulence cases reduced. He recommended the present stakeholders to be realistic and to be specific to solve problems practically.

Remark by the Guest of Honor: Mr. Gagan Rajbhandari Deputy Director and Officer in Charge, ILO, Country office for Bangladesh: Mr. Rajbhandari said that labor migration is challenging and the challenges are big in size but we need to address these challenges in such a way that can result in the extensive flow of labor migration in all over the world. People want information, and if potential migrants are endowed with all possible information they can save themselves from all possible harassments and maltreatment.

Remarks by the Chief Guest: Md. Nazrul Islam, Full Time Member, National Human Rights Commission Bangladesh: Mr. Nazrul is a bit normative in his speech. He mentioned some steps as;

I. There should be a committee on migrants’ worker’s rights especially for female migrants.
II. Advertisement can help fair and ethical recruitments.
III. Need improvement in training.
IV.  Need to observe training quality
V. Training must be digitized as well as the recruitment process
VI. Home Ministry, Foreign Ministry and Human Rights commission should work hand in hand.
VII. There must be a committee of civil society who will observe the work.
VIII. Search for alternative jobs and job market is recommended.