WARBE and POURAKHI celebrate International Migrants Day in Bangladesh and Nepal

On 18th December 2014 partners of AWO International celebrated the International Migrants Day. As per data of the United Nations more than 232 million people were migrants in 2013 worldwide. The number is 50% higher than in the year 1990. Rallies in Bangladesh and Nepal urged the need to improve policies and implementation of laws to make migration safer and to prevent human trafficking.   

Themed by the slogan “Achieve Better Future through Safe Migration” a rally with 1.600 participants started at the National Parlament in Dhaka. Various government and civil society organizations, private associations working for overseas recruitment, the Bangladesh Association of International Recruitment Agencies (BAIRA), the Secretary of the Ministry of Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employement, the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET), such as potential and returnee migrants and families of migrants abroad participated.

The rally ended in a convention center where WARBE Development Foundation and many other organizations presented information materials and counseling for migrants and their families, speeches were held and the cooperation project of AWO International organized a workshop for lawyers and juridical government representatives to discuss the improvement of policies on migration.

Demonstrations for migrant rights were organized by WARBE also in other cities in Bangladesh. POURAKHI took part in a national rally in Kathmandu and organized functions in 15 Districts of Nepal.

AWO International’s main migration partner in Nepal, POURAKHI, organized a migrant workers hearing at the National Women Commission and a round table meeting with members of the Constituent Assembly that was moderated by Mr. Chandeshwor Acharya, the former Nepalese labor attaché in Saudi Arabia and that was chaired by Mr. Bhola Sibakoti, Secretry of the Ministry of Labor &  Employment (Department of Foreign Employment) and Mr. Tika Bhandari, the Director of the Foreign Employment Promotion Board.

While POURAKHI welcomed returnee migrants at Kathmandu International Airport, WARBE paid farewell to 300 migrants leaving Bangladesh through Dhaka Airport in the late evening together with representatives from AWO International and Bangladesh government. A sad moment was the arrival of a dead body in Kathmandu; every day three dead migrants arrive here in an average as per the hard living and working conditions in some receiving countries.

In the evening hundreds of candles were lightened at Basantapur temple at the old Durbar Square in Kathmandu to commemorate the many migrants who died during their work abroad.

Human Trafficking gets more and more interlinked with labour migration. Many female but also male migrants leave the country for work purpose but end up as bonded labours or even as slaves in the entertainment industry. The urging relevance of labour migration and human trafficking in South Asia was also highlighted during the 18th SAARC Summit, the Beijing+20 Conference and in the Asian Inter Parliamentary Caucus on Labour Migration that were recently held.

AWO International will support 8 projects in context of labour migration and human trafficking in 2015.  As a workers welfare organization AWO is also intensively involved to promote migrant rights in Germany; on a national and regional advocacy level as well as by providing services to immigrants in more than 350 Migration Centers all over Germany.

Migrants Day Rally in Dhaka

IMD Rally in Raozan, Chittagong District

Migrants Day Rally in Kathmandu

WARBE information stall in Dhaka

POURAKHI welcoming a dead migrant in Kathmandu

Remembering migrants who died abroad