Bangladeshi diaspora leaders in Europe have requested the government and prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to protect the rights of the country’s migrants amid coronavirus pandemic.
A group of Bangladeshi diaspora leaders including social and development activists, media personalities based in different countries of Europe in a joint statement on Thursday appealed to the Bangladeshi authorities to show humanitarian behaviour towards Bangladeshi returnee migrant workers and expatiates who were being targeted or harassed after coronavirus outbreak.
They also asked the government to ensure migrants’ access to information and services in Bangladesh and facilitate those who wish to return to their country of settlement.
Recently a small number of migrants returned to Bangladesh following the outbreak of coronavirus which caused panic among mass people of Bangladesh assuming that they were carrying the virus. Some of migrant workers who came back home on leave, were quarantined properly and got released with medical certificates. Civil Aviation authority requested migrants to stay home in self-isolation, but due to lack of awareness and lack of monitoring, few of them did not stay at home causing risks to migrant’s family and community.
‘We are observing that migrants are being blamed on social media for bringing the coronavirus from abroad. It humiliates the returnee migrants and many of them were physically assaulted in many parts of Bangladesh,’ the statement read
Migrants are facing hate crime and harassment at family and in the community, which is a violation of human rights.
Ansar Ahmed Ullah, president of the European Bangladesh Forum based in the UK, Habib Babul, chief editor of Suddhoshor Dotcom in Germany, Bikash Chowdhury, chairman of BASUG in Netherlands, AHM Abdul Hai, chief editor of Our Voice in Germany, Mojibur Doftori, writer and researcher in Finland, Sharaf Ahmed, journalist and social activist in Germany, Murad Khan, general secretary of Bangladesh Awami League in Netherlands, MMR Monowar, social and human rights activist in UK, Khalilur Rahman, country coordinator of European Bangladesh Forum in Switzerland, and Arun Barua, president of Minority Council in Switzerland, were prominent among the signatories.
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