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First Bangladeshi gets Minu Memorial Award in Korea

Published : 26 Nov 2020 11:45 PM | Updated : 27 Nov 2020 01:54 AM

Film Director Sheikh Al Mamun has been awarded the Minu Memorial Award as the first Bangladeshi, in recognition of his work in helping to increase the rights of migrant workers for many years.

The Minu Memorial Award is given by the supporters of the late Minod Moktan, a late migrant worker in Nepal, in recognition of his work.

Sheikh Al Mamun, 45, came to Korea in 1992 to work for a furniture company in Namiangju, Gyeongido Province. Sheikh Al Mamun is a naturalized Korean. But seeing the bad work environment and the widespread discrimination against migrant workers, he and his colleagues raised their voices against it. He has been involved in various labour rights movements since 2001. In 2013, he was appointed as a senior member of the Migrant Workers Union under the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU). 

“I am honored to receive this meaningful award as the first Bangladeshi. It's not just for me, my colleagues will be much more inspired by it. I hope this award will be known among Koreans, even those who are not very familiar with migrant workers", Sheikh told.

He acknowledged the contribution of his colleagues and family to his success. He said about his future plans for migrant workers that he would work to change the EPS system by which workers from 16 countries are brought for manufacturing and agricultural work. 

"Employers exploit and threaten their employees because the EPS system does not allow workers to change jobs freely. So, the government should change this rule.  

Sheikh Al Mamun has made more than 10 documentary films on the lives of migrant workers since 2013. His latest film "Awaiting" is about victims of sexual slavery during the liberation wars in Bangladesh and Korea. The film will be screened at the Dakar Film Festival in 2021.