A regional consultation on the Global Compact for Migration would be held in the capital today aiming to prepare a roadmap for regional and national action plans for implementing the compact for safe, orderly and regular migration.
The global compact, adopted by majority UN member-states at an intergovernmental conference in Marrakech, Morocco, on December 10-11, 2018, was formally endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly on 19 December last year.
The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) is an intergovernmental agreement that covers all dimensions of international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner.
The Bangladesh government, in collaboration with the International Organisation for Migration and the International Labour Organisation, has arranged the consultation at a hotel in Dhaka.
IOM chief of mission in Bangladesh Giorgi Gigauri told New Age that the consultation would focus on the civil society, NGOs, and their role in the implementation of GCM in Bangladesh.
‘This is a government-led process. IOM is here to lead the migration governance to support the government,’ he said, adding that a number of key ministries, especially ministries of foreign affairs, expatriates welfare and overseas employment, were involved in the process.
Gigauri said that the central point of the (draft) national action plan was the protection of Bangladeshi migrants in the villages, and at all stages of migration from the country of origin and at the destination and on the transit.
‘Bangladesh is one of the fathers of the global compact adopted in New York. Since the beginning of the process, Bangladesh has been taking a lead. Now we have to move from the international level to the national level,’ he said.
Officials said that the daylong consultation was aimed at bringing together various government and non-government actors within the region to further deliberate and forge ways for the GCM implementation.
Asked, the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment secretary Rownaq Jahan said that the government had put high emphasis on the implementation of the GCM in Bangladesh.
Of the total 23 objectives, defined by the GCM, covering all aspects of migration, at least 16 agenda were directly linked with the EWOE ministry, she said.
Though not legally binding, the compact is the outcome of a long negotiation process and provides a strong platform for cooperation on migration, drawing on best practices and international law.
Global migration expert and WARBE Development Foundation’s chairman Syed Saiful Haque told New Age that a rights-based approach should be taken while implementing the GCM in Bangladesh.
‘Civil society organisations in Bangladesh are strongly committed to help the government and other stakeholders for the proper implementation of the 23 objectives of the compact,’ he said.
He stressed the need for ensuring partnership among all relevant stakeholders for the GCM implementation in the country.
Bangladesh is a prominent country of origin of migrant workers, sending on an average over half a million of workers abroad for jobs and receiving remittances about $15 billion annually.
Bangladeshi migrant workers are facing major problems, including payment of high migration cost at home and irregular job status at the destinations, said officials and migration experts.
According to IOM, the GCM sets out a review process which includes the International Migration Review Forum to discuss the implementation of the compact at the local, national, regional and global levels.
The forum is also meant to allow for interaction with other relevant stakeholders with a view to building upon accomplishments and identifying opportunities for further cooperation.
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