IOM AND EU SHOWCASE KEY ACHIEVEMENTS OF SAFE MIGRATION CAMPAIGN TO COMBAT HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND TRENDS IN IRREGULAR MIGRATION TO EUROPE
Dhaka- The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the European Union today launched an event to showcase the key achievements of a Community-Led Safe Migration campaign, including a series of videos, interactive theatre show and pot song, to help protect Bangladeshi migrant workers from human trafficking and exploitation.
“Uncontrolled migration is a concern for the European Union… Bangladesh has been identified as one of the key priority countries to address forced migration by the EU” Mr. Mario Ronconi, the Minister Counsellor, Head of Cooperation-Head of Unit, Delegation of the European Union to Bangladesh, underscored at the event.
A needs assessment conducted amongst 600 potential and returned migrants in twelve districts of Bangladesh, illustrated that 67% of migrants surveyed expect to face arrest, exploitation and deportation when traveling abroad without the right documentation, with a staggering 79% expecting their promised work to be unavailable.
“Having the assessment information allowed us to understand the migration drivers and risks in these affected communities better, and therefore put together a more targeted and digestible awareness campaign,” said Saskia Kok, Project Officer, IOM Bangladesh.
Key gaps in knowledge identified amongst the community were: a lack of understanding and willingness to accept the dangers of irregular migration among potential migrants, their families and communities, as well as limited awareness on the safe and regular migration pathways.
A series of videos and outreach tools have developed through a community-led consultative process, with support from the Government of Bangladesh, Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training, District Employment and Manpower Offices, community elites and religious leaders.
“The campaign is meant to facilitate dialogue within the community and through that increase understanding around the risks of irregular migration as well as what avenues are available for safe and regular migration,” Peppi Siddiq, Project Manager, IOM Bangladesh said.
Bangladeshi migrants often face mistreatment from their employers including delayed or no salary payments, long working hours, restrictions on mobility, breached contracts, lack of medical treatment, physical and sexual exploitation, and poor working conditions.
“Migrants make a key contribution to our societies and it is our duty to ensure their safety and well-being”, said Abdusattor Esoev, Acting Chief of Mission, IOM Bangladesh.
Awareness raising videos produced may be viewed on the UN Migration Agency’s YouTube channel.
The Community-Led Outreach on Safe Migration project was made possible with support of the European Union through IOM’s European Union Readmission Capacity Building (EURCAP) facility and its partners, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Republic of Bangladesh, the European Union, the Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET) and the District Employment and Manpower Office (DEMO). IOM was further supported by its implementing partners Eco-Social Development Organization (ESDO), Friends in Village Development Bangladesh (FIVDB) and Thengamara Mohila Sabuj Sangha (TMSS), Rights Jessore, theatre partner Visual Communications Limited, pot song partner Rupantor, creative partner Asiatic and media partner ATN Bangla.
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