The 11th summit of the Global Forum on Migration and Development kicked off in Marrakesh Wednesday with a call to protect the fundamental rights of the migrant workers at all stages of migration from the departures to transit and destinations.
Participants include representatives of civil society organizations, government delegates of UN member countries.
The 0governments of Morocco and the Federal Republic of Germany organized the three-day summit as its co-chairs.
Inaugurating the summit at Palmeraie Palace Moroccan Migration Affairs Minister Abdelkrim Benoutiq gave a call for regional and continental collaboration to help implement the global compact for migration to be adopted by UN member states in Marrakesh on December 10-11.
‘Migration can be a driving force for development,’ he said.
UN secretary general’ special representative on migration Louise Arbour said that the global compact would maximize migrants’ benefits across the world and mitigate the challenges facing migration.
International Organization for Migration director general Antonio Vitorino said that migration and development were related and he reiterated the commitment to help implement the global compact objectives at local, national, regional and global stages.
National Human Rights Council president Driss El Vazami called for universalizing fundamental rights of migrants
Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Ministry secretary in Charge Rownaq Jahan, EWOE ministry additional secretary Ahmed Munirus Saleheen and Bangladesh Embassy officials from Rabat attended the inaugural session of the summit.
The Marrakesh summit is taking place for the adoption of the first ever Global Compact for Migration to set out the common principles and actionable commitments to ensure more effective migration management.
The Global Compact for Migration, in short GCM, will be adopted by the UN member states in the inter-governmental conference to be held in Marrakesh on December 10-11.
The agenda of the Marrakesh GFMD Summit focused on three roundtable themes ‘From vulnerability to resilience: Recognising migrants as agents of development’ ‘Regional mobility to promote transferable learning and policy coherence’ and ‘Good migration governance for sustainable development.’
Main features of the three-day summit would include roundtable discussions, special sessions on the GFMD Platform for Partnerships and the Future of the Forum, Common Space, GFMD Business Meeting and side events.
Civil society organizations celebrated GFMD Civil Society Day on Tuesday when the migrants’ rights activists and trade union leaders from countries in Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America took part in the discussions at Palm Plaza Conference room.
They called for extending protections to the migrant workers for safe, dignified and rights based transit, entry, reception and return to their own countries.
They also called for taking actions to ensure decent works, labour rights, fair recruitments, for social, economic and political inclusion in the own communities.
GFMD civil society chair Roula Hamati, Moroccan co-chair of GFND 2018 El Habib Nadir and German co- chair Götz Schmidt-Bremme inaugurated the celebrations.
Migrant Forum in Asia regional coordinator William Gois moderated a thematic session on actions ensuring decent works, labour rights and fair recruitments.
ILO migration policy specialist Shabari Nair, civil society action committee coordinator Sophie Van Hassen and policy adviser of Oxfam International Sarnate Reynolds took part in the discussions for the first panel and debates on global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration and what does it seek to achieve.
WARBE Development Foundation Chair Syed Saiful Haque participated in interactive session and raised questions over the delay in adopting the GCM.
At a sideline event, Ovibashi Karmi Unnayan Program chairman Shakirul expressed concern over violence against migrant workers.
Bangladeshi Ovhibashi Mohila Sramik Association director Sumaiya Islam said that female migration should be maintained with special emphasis allocating sufficient budgets from the government revenues.
Bangladeshi trade unionist and founder of the AWAJ Foundation Nazma Akter also attended the GFMD civil society day while Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit director Marina Sultana and British Council’s PROKAS programme’s Shirin Sultana Lira were present.
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