IOM Bangladesh was officially established in 1998. It has a country office in Dhaka, and has sub-offices in Sylhet and Cox’s Bazar. The cooperation and collaboration between the Government of Bangladesh and IOM dates to 1992, when IOM supported the Government of Bangladesh to rescue 63,000 stranded Bangladeshi migrant workers in the Persian Gulf Crisis.
IOM has been providing technical assistance to the Government of Bangladesh on myriads of issues surrounding migration management to ensure safe, orderly and regular migration. The major contribution has been on system strengthening - capacity development, policy formulation and implementation of programmes including secretariat support to the Chair of the Colombo Process in 2011 and the Global Forum on Migration and Development in 2016. IOM provided technical assistance to the GoB in formulation of policies, to mainstream migration in the development planning process that includes a chapter on migration and development of the 7th five-year plan and to develop a Standard Operating Procedures on recruitment monitoring to name a few. Capacity development initiatives were carried out to train the law enforcement agencies and labour attaches. Numerous programmes on awareness raising, promotion of safe migration, rescue and reintegration, building resilience & social protection of the rights of migrants, skills development has been implemented in collaboration with the Government of Bangladesh.
The largest intervention is in Cox Bazar, which is being coordinated and implemented by IOM to support the forcibly displaced Myanmar Nationals. Currently, IOM is supporting in the areas of Shelter/NFI, Site Management and Development, WASH, Health, Gender Based Violence, alternative energy and Communications with Communities.
- IOM in Bangladesh Over the Years
1990 - Repatriated 63,000 Bangladeshi migrant workers during Persian Gulf Crisis. Following which Bangladesh became a member state.
1998 - Opened First Office.
2003 - Developed immigration management software ‘For Track’ and created several document analysis centers (DAC) for immigration and border management authorities.
2004 - Enhanced Focus on Migration Governance, Irregular Migration, Migration Crisis, Resilience and social protection.
2005 - First Migration Health Assessment Center.
2006 - Migration Research Unit (MRU) at Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training.
2008 - Logistics support at Bangladesh General Election Monitoring.
2010 - Trained 12,000 Judges and public prosecutors on violence against women
2011 - Libya Crisis: Repatriation of more than 36,000 Bangladeshi migrants.
2012 - Technical support to GoB on developing prevention and suppression of human trafficking act 2012.
2013 - National Strategy, GoB mandate for coordinating and providing humanitarian assistance to Undocumented Myanmar Nationals (UMNs).
2014 - Started to provide Humanitarian support to the Undocumented Myanmar Nationals in Cox’s Bazar that went on expanding over the years.
2015 - Andaman Sea Crisis: Repatriation of 2,830 Bangladeshis. Inclusion of a chapter on migration and development in GoB’s 7th 5 year Plan of Action. Developed National Action Plan on Health 2015 – 2018.
2016 - Emergency Support to nearly 74,000 newly arrived UMNs in Cox’s Bazar. Logistics support to 9th GFMD – the biggest migration forum in the world.
2017-2020 - Enhanced focus on counter trafficking, capacity building of law enforcement agencies.