Celebration of International Labor Day-2017

On the eve of International Labor Day-2017, WARBE Development Foundation organized a media dialogue on “Observation and Recommendation of UN Migrant Workers Committee to Protect the Rights of Migrant Workers” at VIP Lounge, National Press Club, Dhaka. Before the media dialogue, WARBE also arranged a Solidarity Human Chain to “Protect Migrant Workers Rights and Dignity” at in front of National Press Club.

The dialogue started with the key speech on Observation and Recommendation of UN Migrant Workers Committee to Protect the Rights of Migrant Workers by Ms. Nayela Akter, Programme Officer, HELVETAS Swiss Inter-cooperation Bangladesh and Ms. Jasiya Khatoon, Director, WARBE Development Foundation.

After the key notes, Mr. Md. Jabed Ahmed, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment (MEWOE) said that we have been recommended to publish Bilateral Agreement (BLA) and Memorandum of understanding (MoU) as well as we have committed to reduce Migration Cost 2020 by 3 months.

In the panel discussion, Zahid Hossain, UN Human Rights Officer said that State has charter based UP, special rapporteur, UN Charter agreeing a state become member State of UN. It’s good that Bangladesh has gone through 2 rounds of universal periodic review (UPR). Mr. Shakirul Islam, Chairman, Ovibashi Karmi Unnayan Program (OKUP) stated that the recommendations of the report are the tip of the iceberg. We should analyze in between the other issues so that we can analyze the real problem, otherwise we will end up with conventional discussion. Mr. Shameem Ahmed Chowdhury Noman, Joint Secretary General, Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agency (BAIRA) said that recruiting Agency has been making us accountable and thus it will create transparency and accountability if us. We also believe that we need to reduce the migration cost. Mr. Feroz Manna, President, Reporters for Bangladeshi Migrants (RBM) also said that the migration cost should be reduced. There are modern slavery existing. We claim to uphold rights of migrant workers Masudul Haque, General Secretary of Reporters for Bangladeshi Migrants (RBM) started with the security of Bangladeshi migrant workers is a major challenge. There should be specific care that the demand that has come about the type, security and other aspects of migrants workers. Ms. Sheepa Hafiza, Executive Director, Ain o Salish Kendra also said CSO should be involved with BLA and that is quite crucial and the making the information in public will be very crucial, in this regards SDG Goal covers many aspects of migration.

Dr. CR Abrar, Executive Director, Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU) also stated that National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) needs to be empowered through giving them independence/autonomy. Transparency of Wage Earner’s Welfare Boarder needs to be explored.

Syed Saiful Haque, Chairman of WARBE Development Foundation said that government should take care of the Migrant workers at the country of destination. If code of practice does not comply, Government can compliant to UN Committee. So, this is a unique opportunity that the Government can apply.

At the very end of the dialogue, Ms. Roksana Yasmin Suty, Member of Parliament, Member, Parliamentarian Committee of Caucus on Migration & Development gave her respect to all labor around the world. She also focused on the contribution of Bangladesh Government for migrant workers. However, there are still some issues need to be improved hopefully with the help of everyone we could get rid of the problem, because it’s all of our responsibility to careful about the migration issues.