National, Front Page

Int’l Migrants Day today

Published : 17 Dec 2022 10:30 PM | Updated : 18 Dec 2022 02:36 PM

The International Migrants Day-2022 will be observed in the country today in a befitting manner like elsewhere across the globe.

On December 4 in 2000, the UN General Assembly, taking into account the large and increasing number of migrants in the world, declared December 18 as the International Migrants Day.

On that day in 1990, the UN assembly adopted the International Convention on the protection of the rights of all migrant workers and members of their families.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued a message greeting Bangladeshi migrants in different parts of the world on the eve of the day. To mark the day, the Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment has chalked out various programmes to observe the day across the country.

The main programme of the day will be held at 10.30am at Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the city with the theme 'Thakbo Bhalo, Rakhbo Bhalo Desh; Baidho Pathe Prabashi Aay- Garbo Bangladesh' while the day's events will include giving (Commercially Important Person (CIP) award and distributing stipends among meritorious children of immigrants.

 The day will also be observed at district and upazila levels through various programmes.

 In her message, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said immediately after gaining independence, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman created foreign employment opportunities for Bangladeshi workers by establishing diplomatic relations with different countries of the world.

"As a result, today there are about 1.4 million Bangladeshis working in 174 countries around the world. Their hard-earned remittances are making an important contribution to the socio-economic development of this country," she added. 

Remittances sent by migrant workers have strengthened Bangladesh's foreign exchange reserves and kept the wheels of the economy running even during the global crisis triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, the premier said, adding that in the fiscal year 2021-22, about 966,339 workers got overseas jobs and Bangladesh received around US$21.03 billion remittance through legal channels. 

Sheikh Hasina said the two percent incentive on remittance has been increased to 2.5 percent to encourage sending remittance through legal channels. 

Laws and policy frameworks are being formulated and reformed by the Ministry of Expatriate Welfare and Foreign Employment to ensure transparency and accountability in immigration, she said, adding, moreover, extensive publicity activities are being carried out at the local level to inform the people about the safe immigration and facilities.

Noting that various programmes have been taken to create opportunities for the active participation of migrant Bangladeshis in the development of the country, the Prime Minister said, "Our government is working on the target of sending 1000 workers abroad on an average per year from each upazila".

They established Probasi Kalyan Bank from where the migrant workers can take loans on easy terms, she said, adding that the foreign employment has opened up new horizons of possibilities in terms of unemployment eradication and poverty alleviation.

"I hope that the incumbent government's immigration-friendly action plans and activities will play a significant role in creating foreign employment, ensuring the welfare of immigrants and their families and the overall development of the country and upholding the reputation of Bangladesh in the global labor market," Sheikh Hasina said.

She added: "With the collective efforts of all, we will be able to build a hunger-poverty-free and developed-prosperous 'Sonar Bangladesh' dreamt by the father of the nation, In Sha Allah".

The Prime Minister wished all programmes of the day a success.

Marking the day, national dailies will publish supplementary highlighting significance of the day while electronic media will air different programmes on the day. 

Addressing a press conference on the occasion, Secretary of the Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Dr Ahmed Munirus Saleheen today said around 7 to 8 lakh people go abroad every year with overseas jobs under the ministry.

According to the Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET), about 617,209 men and women went to different countries across the world with overseas jobs in 2021, he said, adding that at the same time, US$2207,087 million remittance sent by expatriates has played an important role in the national economy.

Highlighting different programmes being carried out for the welfare of the expatriates, the secretary said recently Malaysia labor market has opened while within a short time, 115,541 employment permits have been completed. 

Bangladesh has also signed a letter of interest with Greece for sending workforce there, he said, adding that a process is underway to sign agreement with Albania, Malta and Bosnia for sending workers to those countries.

 Besides, as new labor markets, sending workers to Cambodia, Uzbekistan, Poland, Hungary, Romania and some countries of the Africa continent as well as Japan, China, Croatia, Senegal, Burundi, Seychelles, Saleheen said.

About 412,270 people got overseas jobs in five months till November of 2022-23 financial year, he said, adding if this trend of labor migration continues, around 9 to 10 lakh people will be employed abroad in this financial year.