Divisional Level Knowledge Sharing Workshop on Safe Migration  with Multi-Stakeholders & Networks

A Knowledge Sharing Workshop on safe migration with Multi-Stakeholders & Networks took place on 19th October 2017 in Cox’s Bazar, which was organized by Parliamentarians Caucus on Migration & Development (PCMD). Mr. Israfil Alam, MP, Chair, PCMD was the chief guest of the workshop. The programme was moderated by Didarul Alam Rashed, Executive Director, Nongor.

Mr. Israfil Alam, MP, Chair, PCMD in his welcome speech praised the Government of Bangladesh on its work on the Rohingya issues. He also mentioned the development works and also the attempts to rehabilitate the Rohingya people. Then he talked about the other Divisional level knowledge sharing workshops on safe migration with multi stakeholders & networks. Then he talked about the objectives of the program.The objectives of this workshop are-

  • To share knowledge about safe migration process, regular channels and reduce migration cost.
  • To strengthen the networking capacity of BOAF in National & Divisional Level.
  • Understanding the role of network to effective intervention for migrants’ rights issue.

After that Ms. Jasiya Khatoon, Director, WARBE Development Foundation, talked about the activities of Parliamentarian Caucus on Migration & Development. The caucus has been organizing different programs in different divisions. At the same time the members of this caucus also participated in the international events to discuss migration issues.

Mr. Saiful Haque, Chairman, WARBE Development Foundation briefly talked about the migration scenario. He talked about how the migrant workers face difficulties in the process of migration. He said that from 1976 to till now 1,11,879 people has migrated as migrant workers in almost 162 countries.

Mr. Forkan, Victim to the act caused by middleman, said that he went to Malaysia by the help of a middleman named Yeasin and his assistance named Romiz. But on his way he was captured by the Thai Police for being undocumented and he had to spend 9 months in jail.

Another victim Md. Ishak, Sabrang, Teknaf said that due to the hassle created by the Passport Office and corruption by the police he could not create his passport. Then he came to know about going to abroad without any passport by using ship from a middleman named Abul Kashem. There were 139 people with him who had to face a very miserable situation. YPSA helped him to rehabilitate.

Md. Morshed, another victim from Saint Martin, Teknaf said that on 26th March 2015, he was trafficked forcefully when he did not have any desire to go abroad. He said that there were more than 2500 people from Bangladesh and Myanmar. He had to go through a very miserable situation on that time. Somehow he got rescued.

Md. Nazrul Islam, Gorjoniya, Ramu shared his experience with the audience. He said that he wanted to go to Malaysia, so he asked an owner of a fishing board to take him to Malaysia. On that boat he saw there were more than 750 people, from them 400 people were Bangladeshi. He had to live in jail for 2 years and 9 months in Thailand.

Victim Shumon Barua, West Baruapara, Cox’s Bazar told that a middleman named Ziaur Rahman took him to teknaf promising that he will send Shumon in regular way to abroad. Shumon was sold by the middleman for 15,000 taka. Then he was taken in the trawler where there were 15 more people like him. They were given few amounts of dry foods and 5 liters water to survive. After 15days hey reached in Thailand where they were tortured and forced to call in their house to give 3 lakhs taka as ransom for their life. Then after one month he was captured by the Thai police and he had to stay in the jail for 11months.

Ms. Joshna Akter, Choukoria said that middleman Dilowara told her to give her 3,50,000 taka to go to Saudi Arab. So Joshna gave her 40,000 taka initially and then she get her visa checked. Then she realized that she was being trafficked to Bahrain. After that she flew in Dhaka and she was being threatened by the middleman. When she complaint against her to the UNO, the matter started to solve.

Mr. Faruque Ahmed, Secretary General, WARBE Development Foundation talked briefly about the activities of WARBE Development Foundation.

Mr. Nazmul Ahsan, Chairman, BOAF talked about the contributions of the migrant workers in economy of Bangladesh.

Md. Ali Jinnat, Staff Reporter, Daily Star said that there have been series of reports about issues of migration and trafficking. He said that the prominent figures of the society are involved in trafficking.

Ms. Saleha Khatun, British Council, talked briefly about the PROKAS Programme. And then she advised the audience to query in DEMO office before going to abroad.

Ms. Hosne Ara Lutfa Dalia, MP, was very disappointed to hear about the stories about the victims. She mentioned that the vulnerable situation of these innocent people cannot be ignored.