Past Events 2022

Dissemination workshop on the study “Impact of Migration on Transformation to Sustainability: Poverty and Development in Bangladesh”
Organised by RMMRU and mandated by SDC
Date: January 12, 2022
Venue: Hotel InterContinental, Dhaka

On January 12, Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU) organised a hybrid dissemination workshop on the study “Impact of Migration on Transformation to Sustainability: Poverty and Development in Bangladesh”. The workshop took place both on online and offline platforms in which 47 guests joined through zoom and 50 more were present physically. In this workshop RMMRU presented the findings of a long running panel survey of over 6000 households, spanning 20 districts of Bangladesh. The study examines the sustainability of economic and social gains and implications of losses experienced by the households. Mr. Md. Shhahriar Alam M.P., the State Minister of Foreign Affairs attend as the Chief Guest. The Special Guests were Dr. Md. Habibur Rahman of Bangladesh Bank and Ms. Suzanne Mueller, Director of Cooperation and Acting Head of Mission of the Embassy of Switzerland.

The dissemination workshop was divided into three sessions. The inaugural was chaired by, Dr. Hossain Zillur Rahman, former Adviser to the Caretaker Government of Bangladeh and the Working Session 1 and 2 were chaired by Mr. Md. Shahidul Haque, Former Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh and Md. Shahidul Alam, Director General, Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET) respectively.

In the Working Session 1, Dr. C. Rashaad Shabab of the University of Sussex presented the key findings on Poverty Dynamics, Expenditure Growth and Migration. Dr. Mustafizur Rahman, Distinguished Fellow of Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), Professor Atonu Rabbani of BRAC University and Dr. Nashid Rizwana Monir, Deputy Secretary of Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment were the Panel Discussants and provided comments on the findings.

Dr. Ananta Neelim of the University of Tasmania presented the key findings on Transitions in Migration Status and Gender Differences at the Working Session 2. Professor Selim Raihan of University of Dhaka and SANEM and Ms. Tapati Saha, Programme Analyst of UN Women reflected on the key findings.

“Global GDP would be doubled if all those who wanted to migrate were able to migrate” said Mr. Md. Shhahriar Alam M.P., the State Minister. He also emphasised that women’s right to migrate should be honoured by creating a safe migration environment.

Dr. Hossain Zillur Rahman, former Adviser to the Caretaker Government of Bangladesh felt the time has come for internal migrants to receive the same policy attention as that of international migrants.

Mr. Md. Shahidul Haque, Former Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh commended the research for bringing internal migration so strongly to the policy arena for the first time.

Ms. Suzanne Mueller, Acting Head of the Embassy of Switzerland stated that given the importance of migration in consumption smoothing and economic growth, among the bilateral donors, Switzerland is strongly committed to policy research on migration.

Some of the key messages of workshop include:

  • Migration enhances the economic sustainability of the household and helps households to withstand shocks triggered by pandemic and climate change related disasters. Migration enables these households them to achieve a greater degree of resilience than non-migrant household.
  • Female internal and international migrants come from more disadvantaged background, are more likely to be widowed and divorced and to have lower levels of education. Participating in migration reduces the unadjusted gender gap in earning.
  • Internal migration can be a core element of Bangladesh’s transformation to sustainability. Therefore investments in public services and facilities that support internal migrants such as low-cost transportation, accommodation and legal aid are likely to yield high social returns.

Full programme

International Migrants Day Observation and Inception Meeting of the SafeStep Project
Date: December 19, 2021
Organised by: Refugee and Migratory Movement Research Unit (RMMRU)
Supported by Winrock International
Venue: Kalihati Upazila Porishod Hallroom, Tangail

Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU) organised a consultation programme to observe the International Migrants Day and inception meeting of the SafeStep project. The event was held on December 19, 2021 (Sunday) at the Kalihati Upazilla Porishod Hallroom with the support of Winrock International. The consultation programme was chaired by Mr Mobassher Alam, UNO, Kalihati, Tangail and moderated by Ms. Marina Sultana, Director Programme, RMMRU. Mr. Md. Ansar Ali, Chairman, Upazilla Parishad graced the event as the chief guest. Mr. Md. Azad Hossain, UP Chairman, Paikora; Mr. Md. Mokhlesur Rahman Khan,UP Chairman, Shahadebpur; Mr. Akhtaruzzaman, Vice Chairman, UP; Mr. Md. Jasimuddin, Upazilla Social Welfare Officer were presented as the special guest including 85 participants.  Migrant workers, family members of migrant households, entrepreneurs, teachers, religious leaders, journalist from project areas with RMMRU and Winrock International representatives attended the event as well.

The aim of the programme was to observe the International Migrants Day with the stakeholders and community people as well as introduce project ‘SafeStep: Expanding safe migration to the Bangladesh-Malaysia Corridor’ Project. The event informed about the SafeStep project’s working areas as well as project activities to the community members who play role in shaping public perspective and understanding.

A brief presentation was shared on the project activities and the SafeStep app with the participants. The discussion held in the event emphasized on the importance of safe migration and the recently signed MoU between Malaysia and Bangladesh where the issues of recruitment agency, sub-agents, migration cost, ethical recruitment, etc were being highlighted. There was an open discussion session in the programme where the participants shared their expectations from the project, exchanged opinions and offer suggestions. They also discussed about the main subject matter of this year’s International Migrants day 2021 and their commitment to work for the betterment of migrants in the community level.

Mr. Md. Azad Hossen, Chairman, Paikora Union said,

“Through RMMRU’s mediation, we successfully abled to get 45 lacs taka to the aggrieved migrant workers from the sub-agents. We hope the mediation activity will not be stopped as it has become a necessity.”

He also stated that, “Aspirant migrants who are eager to go to Malaysia are facing danger due to dealing with the sub-agents. We need to make them understand the value of safe-migration and let them know what benefits he can avail if he safely migrates through a regular channel.”

Mr. Md. Jashim Uddin, Upajilla Welfare Officer said,

“The SafeStep app will be a very useful tool to promote safe migration but it needs to be well promoted and circulated. People should have the opportunity to easily access the app so that they can access information, store their necessary migration related documents and understand their financial state through using its ‘budget calculator’ feature.”

He also highlighted the issues of sub-agent regularization, airfare cost and passport.

Mr. Md. Ansar Ali Chairman, Upazilla Parishad highlighted the significance of International Migrants Day in his speech and said, “This day is observed to realize the rights of the migrant workers and their entitlements.” He also highlighted the issues of human trafficking, fraudulence in the migration sector, government’s services, mediation etc. He said,

“RMMRU has been working very actively and transparently especially through organising mediation and many migrants had been benefitted from their activities which are really commendable. I request them to facilitate it in every union of Kalihati Upazilla. A day long training on the SafeStep mobile app needs to be arranged so that we can well aware of the usage of this app. This will able us to help people to get the benefits.” Giving importance on the regular and safe migration he said that, “We will co-operate to ensure that migrants send remittances legally. RMMRU works for the welfare of the people and we will support and encourage it work of SafeStep project so that it can be expedited.”

Mr. Mobassher Alam, UNO, Kalihati said that the International Migrants Day is being to ensure that migrants do not accept harassment and can work with dignity. This day has a lot of significance. He said, “The government and NGOs are working together to build a developing country. The government earns a lot of foreign exchange from remittances sent by expatriates. The SafeStep app and its features are compatible to work for the welfare of our expatriate workers besides government. It can play a leading role during migration.” 

Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU) organised a consultation programme to observe the International Migrants Day and inception meeting of the SafeStep project. The event was held on December 19, 2021 (Sunday) at the Kalihati Upazilla Porishod Hallroom with the support of Winrock International. The consultation programme was chaired by Mr Mobassher Alam, UNO, Kalihati, Tangail and moderated by Ms. Marina Sultana, Director Programme, RMMRU. Mr. Md. Ansar Ali, Chairman, Upazilla Parishad graced the event as the chief guest. Mr. Md. Azad Hossain, UP Chairman, Paikora; Mr. Md. Mokhlesur Rahman Khan,UP Chairman, Shahadebpur; Mr. Akhtaruzzaman, Vice Chairman, UP; Mr. Md. Jasimuddin, Upazilla Social Welfare Officer were presented as the special guest including 85 participants.  Migrant workers, family members of migrant households, entrepreneurs, teachers, religious leaders, journalist from project areas with RMMRU and Winrock International representatives attended the event as well.

The aim of the programme was to observe the International Migrants Day with the stakeholders and community people as well as introduce project ‘SafeStep: Expanding safe migration to the Bangladesh-Malaysia Corridor’ Project. The event informed about the SafeStep project’s working areas as well as project activities to the community members who play role in shaping public perspective and understanding.

A brief presentation was shared on the project activities and the SafeStep app with the participants. The discussion held in the event emphasized on the importance of safe migration and the recently signed MoU between Malaysia and Bangladesh where the issues of recruitment agency, sub-agents, migration cost, ethical recruitment, etc were being highlighted. There was an open discussion session in the programme where the participants shared their expectations from the project, exchanged opinions and offer suggestions. They also discussed about the main subject matter of this year’s International Migrants day 2021 and their commitment to work for the betterment of migrants in the community level.

Mr. Md. Azad Hossen, Chairman, Paikora Union said,

 “Through RMMRU’s mediation, we successfully abled to get 45 lacs taka to the aggrieved migrant workers from the sub-agents. We hope the mediation activity will not be stopped as it has become a necessity.”

He also stated that, “Aspirant migrants who are eager to go to Malaysia are facing danger due to dealing with the sub-agents. We need to make them understand the value of safe-migration and let them know what benefits he can avail if he safely migrates through a regular channel.”

Mr. Md. Jashim Uddin, Upajilla Welfare Officer said,

“The SafeStep app will be a very useful tool to promote safe migration but it needs to be well promoted and circulated. People should have the opportunity to easily access the app so that they can access information, store their necessary migration related documents and understand their financial state through using its ‘budget calculator’ feature.”

He also highlighted the issues of sub-agent regularization, airfare cost and passport.

Mr. Md. Ansar Ali Chairman, Upazilla Parishad highlighted the significance of International Migrants Day in his speech and said, “This day is observed to realize the rights of the migrant workers and their entitlements.” He also highlighted the issues of human trafficking, fraudulence in the migration sector, government’s services, mediation etc. He said,

“RMMRU has been working very actively and transparently especially through organising mediation and many migrants had been benefitted from their activities which are really commendable. I request them to facilitate it in every union of Kalihati Upazilla. A day long training on the SafeStep mobile app needs to be arranged so that we can well aware of the usage of this app. This will able us to help people to get the benefits.” Giving importance on the regular and safe migration he said that, “We will co-operate to ensure that migrants send remittances legally. RMMRU works for the welfare of the people and we will support and encourage it work of SafeStep project so that it can be expedited.”

Mr. Mobassher Alam, UNO, Kalihati said that the International Migrants Day is being to ensure that migrants do not accept harassment and can work with dignity. This day has a lot of significance. He said, “The government and NGOs are working together to build a developing country. The government earns a lot of foreign exchange from remittances sent by expatriates. The SafeStep app and its features are compatible to work for the welfare of our expatriate workers besides government. It can play a leading role during migration.”