Festival 2023

Obhibashon O Shonar Manush Shommilon 2023
Liberation War Museum, Agargaon
Date: 30 March 2023
Organised by RMMRU
Supported by ISEPR project, British High Commission

Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU) organised a grand event named ‘ Obhibashon O Shonar Manush Shommilon 2023’ with the support of the British High Commission and the International Organization for Migration complementing its policy and field actions as well as an innovative tool of media campaign and awareness raising on national level . This award function was held in the Liberation War Museum on 30th March 2023 to encourage the migrant community to pave the way for better service and to create job opportunities for others as well as increase their livelihood standards. This year RMMRU recognised the best remittance utilisers among the migrant workers, left-in charge women family members and migration service providers through this event. RMMRU also created scope to address the challenges and opportunities in social and economic reintegration of returnee migrants and influence the policy makers to mitigate migrants’ vulnerabilities. It aims to

● Recognising the best remittance utiliser migrant workers, women members of left-in charge family members and best migration service providers.
● Addressing the challenges and opportunities in social and economic reintegration of returnee migrants and influencing policy makers to mitigate migrants’ vulnerabilities.
● Policy advocacy for strengthening institutional capacity, accountability, and responsiveness of state institutions to protect migrants' rights and promote their interests.

The event has been designed with versatile activities. The main parts of the event are e.g. Inaugural Sessions; Cultural Event; Voice of the Shonar Manush Awardees; Speech of Guests; Symposium on current issues on Migration; Parliamentary Debate on Labour Migration; Display of the videos of RMMRU on safe migration and reintegration and Shonar Manush award Ceremony.

The inaugural session commenced with the welcoming speech of Ms. Marina Sultana, Director, Programme, RMMRU. She upheld the importance of migration and the role of the migrant workers in aspect of development of the country as well as its global impact through her brief sharing of the Objectives and Rationale of the Obhibashon o Shonar Manush Shommilon 2023. The event moved forward with a segment on the Puthi path and series of Folk performances. Professional cultural team performed various songs about the process of safe migration, expatriates’ feelings, their successes, sacrifices and their hardships. A ‘Puthi Path’ was performed on the remittances management in the guise of charming dialogues and songs. The awardees also provided their kind time to share their migration journey on stage through brief speech where they spoke about their struggle as well as plan to use the remittance and motivate others for safe and regular migration.

The inaugural session followed with the Special guests, Guest of Honour and Chief Guest of the session taking their seats on stage and rendering their speeches. The session was moderated by Dr. Tasneem Siddiqui, Founding Chair RMMRU. In this session Mr. Md. Salim Reza, Full-time Member, National Human Rights Commission, special guest of the event said,
Nowadays, migration is a crucial and important issue. I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to RMMRU for organising such a grand event to recognise and encourage our remittance warrior. In our country almost ninety lakh families live under poverty. Remittance is one of the best tools for eradicating poverty as well as comprehensive development. If we are able to provide skill training for every migrant worker, that will surely help us to bring more remittance. Besides, we should ensure safe migration for aspirant migrants.

Special guest of the event, Mr. Ahmed Jamal, Deputy Governor of Bangladesh Bank stated ,
Remittance is one of the prime sources of reserves. The decrease in export income against import expenditure is regarded as the main reason for the reserve crisis. But one of the most important causes behind this is money laundering which is still prevalent in the country.. Our hard working migrant workers are requested to use the proper banking channel to send their remittance. We understand that the money sent through Hundi plays an important role in the country's economy. But since this money does not enter through the banking channel, it does not help the country's foreign exchange reserves. Bangladesh Bank is taking policy steps like reducing dollar value differences in the kerb market and bank, giving incentives, or by taking strict legal measures against Hundi (illegal) traders, I think it will be possible to increase the flow of foreign exchange through banking channels

Ms. Mahjabeen Khaled, Former MP and General Secretaryof the Parliamentarians Caucus on Migration and Development attending the program as a special Guest and said
Remittance warriors are not getting proper recognition. we should change our mentality towards them. They are helping to build our economy stronger. The parliamentary Caucus on Migration and Development is working from the grassroot levels to policy level. We supported the migrant workers to access loans from Probashi Kallyan bank. We are seeking scopes to play more intense role for the betterment of the migrant community

The Chief Guest, Mr. Asaduzzaman Noor, MP, Former Minister, Ministry of Cultural Affairs also spoke in this session. He said

Migrants are working hard abroad for the sake of their family. They send remittances which contribute to our national economy. But after returning home, our migrant workers don’t get proper recognition. Sometimes they are stigmatised by society. Besides, sometimes they misuse money which makes them more vulnerable. So, I would request RMMRU to work more on rehabilitation and reintegration programs of migrants.

The inaugural session contains Symposium on Current Issues on Migration moderated by Dr. Tasneem Siddiqui, Founding Chair, RMMRU with recommendations and key action points by the panel discussants. Mr. Md. Salim Reza, Full-Time member, National Human Rights Commission talked about reducing untimely death of female migrant workers in destination countries. Explaining the mobile led solution in remittance transfer, Mr. Abdullah Al Muyid, Vice Principal, Bkash shared his views on the issues of safe remittance transfer and management. Ms. Sonia Shahid, Market Development and Entrepreneurship Expert, spoke about market-oriented business models for economic reintegration of the returnee migrant workers. Ms. Shahreen Munier, Head of Migration Governance, IOM presented specific key actions to be pursued by Labour origin countries in the GFMD also in this session. On behalf of Professor Neil Adger from University of Exeter, Mr. Tamim Billah discussed the access to international labour migration as a climate change adaptation tool as well.

A Parliamentary debate on Labour Migration took place in this session following the Symposium. The debate session on migration was contested between two teams. The members of the jury in the debate were prominent personalities - Ms. Shaheen Anam, Executive Director, MJF and Mr. Ali Haider, General Secretary, BAIRA and Dr. Abdun Noor Tushar, Ex- President, BDF. After the debate session, RMMRU displayed its music video and Public social awareness (PSA) video clips regarding safe migration and remittance management and reintegration on big screens.

The Shonar Manush award session was moderated by Dr. Tasneem Siddiqui. For this session, Mr. Imran Ahmad, MP, Hon’ble Minister of the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment graced the occasion as the Chief guest. At the award ceremony of the Obhibashon O shonar manush Shommilon, he said,

The importance of recognising the good deeds of humans, especially the migrant workers in this case is very important as it will encourage more people to come forward and adopt the good practices. The Technical Intern Training Programme of Japan is an example for skill migration. The migrants who are going under this programme after taking training are receiving high salaries comparing the migrant workers migrating to Saudi Arabia. We need to give importance to upskilling, reskilling or any other initiatives for better migration governance and outcome. For this, every stakeholder, from donor agencies to implementing partners, CSOs to journalists need to come forward.

He also stated that

About 50% of remittances are received through Hundi which is still good news as it hits the development of rural life. Beside raising awareness for sending remittances through legal channels, we need to explore and expand the labour market. We receive requirements but we are short of skilled migrant workers.

Mr. Md. Shahidul Alam (ndc), Director General, BMET and Mr. Abdusattor Esoev, Chief of Mission, International Organization for Migration (IOM) were presented as the Special guests. Dr. Shamsul Alam, Hon’ble State Minister of Planning, Mr. Md. Shahriar Alam MP, Hon’ble State Minister for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Dr. Kamal Uddin Ahmed, Chairman, National Human Rights Commission attended the program as Guests of Honour. Closing this session, The Guest of Honour, Hon’ble State Minister for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Md. Shahriar Alam MP said,

We not only believe that migrating is human’s right but also one of the most important economic pillars for development. We now know from research and government officials that we have potential to double the income by using proper channels to send money which certainly not the Hundi. Our migrant workers are our pride. But unfortunately in destination countries they do not get their basic human rights sometimes. This is very alarming for us. I would request the United Nations and other human rights organisations with the government as well as the CSOs to collaboratively work in order to ensure basic rights of the migrant workers in origin and destination countries.

Dr. Kamal Uddin Ahmed, Chairman, National Human Rights Commission, as a guest of honour said,

As a result of demographic dividend, most of the people of our country are working age people. Statistics show that 45% of young people want to go abroad for work. But coverage is not the same all over our country. We have given special focus on rural areas for overall development. We should ensure safe and orderly migration for balanced and comprehensive development.

Dr. Shamsul Alam, Hon’ble State Minister of Planning, Hon’ble State Minister for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs speak,

A huge percentage of people in our country are involved with migration. Every year on average 21-24 million USD are received as a remittance”. But unfortunately 48% of remittances are sent via hundi (Illegal channel). We have to work more on an awareness raising programme for the migrants and their families. Also, Most of the migrants are not skilled. So vocational training can add value for workers in the global market. Nursing has great demand in the global market.

Ms. Tahera Jabeen, Social Development Advisor, British High Commission stated that,

The British High Commission supported a number of programmes of RMMRU which created impact on the grassroots level as well as in the policy level. It has also promoted good governance in the migration sector in Bangladesh. Our Commonwealth government is taking short and long term interventions globally with a vision for ensuring orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration to maximise return and meet sustainable development goals. Achieving a well managed migration requires different level coordination in the migration journey.

RMMRU bestows Shonar Manush Shommanona to acknowledge the contribution of migrants who send remittances through formal channels and invested a portion of their remittances for self-employment through developing entrepreneurship as well as generating more employment opportunities have been prioritised by being given such an award. This year Md. Nazmul Talukdar, Tangail, Md. Nuruddin Ahmed, Cumilla and Md. Salimullah, Keraniganj, Dhaka, Md. Salimullah, Keraniganj, Dhaka are awarded the Shonar Manush Shommanona 2023.

Umme Habiba of Tangail and Shiuly Akhter from Mymensingh are recognised with the Shonar Manush Paribar Award 2023 for recognising their contribution and managing remittances properly in the socio-economic development of the family as well as in the country.

This year the Shonar Manush Sheba Shommanona is provided to Assistant Director of Probashi Kallyan Desk, Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport for delivering emergency services to the returnee migrants during the period of COVID-19 with deep commitment and dedication. And Grievance Management Committee (GMC) for its outstanding performance and significant role as a platform to address migration related grievances in a transparent, credible and inclusive manner. While for providing relentless supports the migrant workers at every step of their migration journey. Wage Earners’ Welfare Board received the Shonar Manush Bishesh Sheba Shommanona 2023.

The event was enriched with the gracious presence of current and former Members of Parliament (MPs) including those of members of Parliamentarians’ Caucus on Migration and Development, high officials (Hon’ble Minister) of the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment (MoEWOE), Ministry of Planning, Ministry of MOFA, economists, academicians and migration experts attended the event. Also the event was graced by the remittance warrior migrant workers and their family members especially the left-incharge women and children, journalists and representatives from CSOs/NGOs/INGOs, development partners, BMET, WEWB, Probashi Kollyan Bank, BOESL, BAIRA/Recruiting Agencies, TTCs, DEMOs and local government representatives and more than 250 migrants, member of family members of migrants as well as the migrant community etc. 26 print and online media as well as 9 electronic media covered the news of the event and policy agenda with high importance.

The recommendation and outcome of the programme were
● Awarded and encouraged best remittance utiliser migrant workers, women members of left-in charge family members and best migration service providers and set up example for the migrant community.
● Addressing the challenges and opportunities in migration sectors in front of policy makers, government officials, services providers, journalists and community people through the discussion of the symposium and the dialogues and speeches of the guests.
● Addressing social and economic reintegration of returnee migrants and influencing policy makers to mitigate migrants’ vulnerabilities.
● The discussions and speeches established the recommendation that every effort should be made to ensure that migrant workers receive proper training based on the skill demand for meeting the labour market needs of the destination countries as well as ensure high wages.
● The discussion in the symposium and speech of the guests emphasis on ensuring the fundamental rights of the migrant workers not only in the origin countries but also in the destination as well. In this case, proper information, training, awareness etc services need to be upgraded and ensured.
● This event has brought together about 300 migration stakeholders under one roof.

The national level award ceremony ‘Obhibashon O Shonar Manush Shommilon’ is an incredible programme that encourages thousands of migrant community members not only to migrate in a safe and regular way but also make proper use of the remittances in a planned and proper way. Beside them, the respected service providing organisations in migration are motivated through this event to work with honesty and consciousness. A good awareness has been created among the government officers at the local level and national level through this event. It is an epitome of proper recognition of the main actor in the migration sector. This programme is a timely initiative to push the wheel of motivation in the migration sector. Not only the awardees got recognition in a national platform, they are also motivated to take further steps in their respective field as well as encourage others in their surroundings to take informed and proper steps.

Print Media and Online News Portal Coverage of the
Obhibashon O Shonar Manush Shommilon 2023

The Daily Star: Don’t impose unfair conditions on migrant-sending countries
The Daily Prothom Alo: দেশে ফিরে কর্মসংস্থান তৈরি করছেন প্রবাসীরা
The Daily UNB: Shahriar seeks stronger UN’s role to stop imposing unfair conditions by destination countries of migrants
The Daily Bangla Tribune: আমাদের জনশক্তি মধ্যপ্রাচ্যকে দাঁড় করিয়েছে: পররাষ্ট্র প্রতিমন্ত্রী
The Daily Probash Barta: প্রবাসী আয়ে দেশের উন্নয়ন, ‘সোনার মানুষ সম্মাননা পেল ৬ ব্যক্তি
The Daily Samakal: অভিবাসন ও সোনার মানুষ সম্মিলন রে‌মিট‌্যা‌ন্সের ৪৮ শতাংশই আসছে হু‌ন্ডিতে
The Daily Kaler Kantha: অভিবাসন আয়ে দেশে অবদানের জন্য ৮ ব্যক্তি-প্রতিষ্ঠানকে রামরুর সম্মাননা
The Daily Jugantor: প্রবাসীদের উন্নয়নে জিহাদ ঘোষণা করলেও সিস্টেমের কারণে পারছি না: মন্ত্রী
The Daily Bangladesh Today: সিস্টেমের ব্যর্থতায় মালয়েশিয়া যেতে সাড়ে ৪ লাখ লাগে: প্রবাসী কল্যাণমন্ত্রী
The Daily Business Standard: সিস্টেমে ত্রুটির কারণে মালয়েশিয়ায় যেতে কর্মীদের অতিরিক্ত খরচ হচ্ছে: প্রবাসী কল্যাণ মন্ত্রী
The Daily Business Standard: Faulty system costing workers extra to migrate to Malaysia: Minister
The Daily Dhaka Tribune: Dhaka seeks stronger UN role to prevent unfair conditions by migrants’ destination countries
The Daily Business Post: 3 migrants win Shonar Manush Award
The Daily Financial Express: Extra migration cost to Malaysia: Minister blames faulty recruitment system
The Daily Messenger: অভিবাসী ও সোনার মানুষ সম্মিলন ২০২0 ‘অভিবাসী হওয়ার প্রবণতাকে ব্যবহার করে লাভবান হচ্ছে অনেক দেশ’
The Daily Bonik Barta: সিস্টেমে ত্রুটির কারণেই মালয়েশিয়া যেতে খরচ বেশি —প্রবাসী কল্যাণমন্ত্রী’
The Ovibashi: ত্রুটিপূর্ণ নিয়োগব্যবস্থার কারণে মালয়েশিয়ায় অভিবাসন খরচ অতিরিক্ত: প্রবাসী কল্যাণ ও বৈদেশিক মন্ত্রী
The Shikkhok Batayon: প্রবাসীদের উন্নয়নে জিহাদ ঘোষণা করলেও সিস্টেমের কারণে সফল হতে পারছি না: মন্ত্রী
The Probash Journal: প্রবাসীদের উন্নয়নে জিহাদ ঘোষণা করলেও সিস্টেমের কারণে সফল হতে পারছি না: মন্ত্রী
The Banglachannel19: রেমিট্যান্সের ৫২ শতাংশ আসে বৈধ ৪৮ শতাংশই আসছে হু‌ন্ডিতে
The Dhaka today: রেমিট্যান্সের ৪৮ শতাংশই আসছে হু‌ন্ডিতে

Electronic media Coverage of the
Obhibashon O Shonar Manush Shommilon 2023

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Shonar Manush Souvenir 2019

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Shonar Manush Souvenir 2023