On 18th December 2023, YPSA paid tribute to the millions of migrants of Bangladesh who have consistently been contributing to the prosperity of the country since its birth in 1971. Their hard work, sacrifice and contribution are impeccable. They deserve immense honor as they are the Heroes of this time.
Mr. Ban Ki-moon, General Secretary of the United Nations said “Migration is an expression of the human aspiration for dignity, safety, and a better future. It is part of the social fabric, part of our very make-up as a human family.”
Through their hard work and under challenging circumstances, migrant workers of Bangladesh not only bring a big difference to their own households, but also to the economies and societies of their countries of origin and destination. There is also a growing recognition of the migrant workers’ contribution to the attainment of sustainable development goals.
Young Power in Social Action (YPSA), being a non-government organization and an advocate for the migrants and victims of trafficking, celebrated the “International Migrants Day 2023” through different activities throughout the day. In line with the theme of the year, “Honouring the Contributions of Migrants and Respecting their Rights”, YPSA in association with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and in coordination with the District Commissioner’s Office and District Employment and Manpower Office of Cox’s Bazar organized different activities under the project titled, “Prevention and Response Activities Implementation on Counter Trafficking Issues” being supported by IOM.
Rally: The day started with a rally inaugurated by Mr. Muhammad Shaheen Imran, the honorable District Magistrate, Cox’s Bazar. Mr. Mr. Zahid Iqbal, Additional Deputy Commissioner (Revenue), Ms. Tapti Chakma, Additional Deputy Commissioner (EDU & ICT), Ms. Sharmin Sultana, Assistant Commissioner & Executive Magistrate (Establishment, LG, Expatriate Welfare) and Mr. Liton Kanti Chowdhury, Assistant Director, DEMO, Cox’s Bazar were present in the rally. A delegate of IOM joined the rally; they included Ms. Nazmun Nahar National Protection Officer (Child Protection, Counter-Trafficking) and Ms. Sara Sadiya Israt, Field Coordinator. From YPSA, a team comprising Mr. Jishu Barua, Program Manager and Counter Trafficking Focal, Mr. Suvra Adhikari, Ms. Shanuching Marma and Mr. Tamin Tanim Rahman Mitu, Project Officer of YPSA Counter Trafficking project participated in the rally. The rally marched around the Cox’s Bazar City disseminating the message of the International Migrants Day.
Discussion Program on the International Migration Day: In the office of District Employment and Manpower Office of Cox’s Bazar, a discussion program on the International Migration Day was held. Mr. Liton Kanti Chowdhury, Assistant Director of DEMO presided over the meeting Ms. Sharmin Sultana, Assistant Commissioner & Executive Magistrate (Establishment, LG, Expatriate Welfare), Cox’s Bazar was the Chief Guest. Among the discussants were Mr. Jishu Barua, Program Manager and Counter Trafficking Focal of YPSA, Mr. Mohammad Shahjahan, Principal, Technical Training Center (TTC), Ramu and Mr. Priotosh Paul, Probashi Kallyan Bank, Cox’s Bazar. Ms. Sharmin Sultana, AC & EM, Cox’s Bazar said, “Migrants of the country have made enormous contributions to the economic development of Bangladesh. In recognition of their contributions, the government of Bangladesh has taken up initiatives for their welfare. The government made a migration law named ‘Overseas Employment and Migrants Act 2013’, established a bank named Probashi Kallyan Bank and other facilities for the migrants of the country.”
Emphasizing the importance of the day, Mr. Jishu Barua, Program Manager and Trafficking Focal Person of YPSA, said, “Migration is a human right of every citizen of the world. Unfortunately, traffickers sometimes prey on the vulnerable people and exploit them in the name of migration. So, aspirant migrants should choose fair migration system of the country to avoid the trap of the traffickers. They should receive the facilities available at the government offices like DEMO, TTC offer to get the correct information and necessary training for the fairer and safer migration.”
Ukhiya Sub-District Level Celebration Program:
In association with the local government – Upazila Administration and Jaliapaloing UnionParishad Counter Trafficking Committee, YPSA also organized Rally and Discussion program in the premises of Jaliapalong Government Primary School, Jaliapalong, Ukhiya, Cox’s Bazar. The discussion meeting was presided over by Mr. Jishu Barua, Program Manager and Counter Trafficking Focal of YPSA. Ms. Fadia Yesmin, Acting Chairman of Jaliapalong Union was present as Chief Guest. Mr. Ratan Kanti Dey, General Secretary of Ukhiya Press Club, Mr. Toriqul Islam, Union Parishad Secretary of Jaliapalong Union and members of the Union Parishad were present as special guests. Besides, representatives from different law enforcement agencies were present in the meeting. People of all walks of life attended the celebration of the International Migrants Day.” Mr. Suvra Adhikari, Project Officer anchored the program.
A delegate of IOM joined the rally; they included Ms. Nazmun Nahar, National Protection Officer (Child Protection, Counter-Trafficking) and Ms. Sara Sadiya Israt, Field Coordinator. In her speech, Ms. Nazmun Nahar said, “IOM considers mobility of people as their universal rights. IOM always works with different stakeholders to help ensure the orderly humane management of migration. We will continue our assistance and efforts to ensure fairer migration of people around the world.”
In her speech, Ms. Fadia Yesmin, Acting Chairman of Jaliapalong Union said, “I have had opportunities to travel to different countries in the world. I saw many Bangladesh migrant workers in those countries. I have witnessed how much hard work they do in those foreign countries. They send remittances to the country through their hard work, but they do not get facilities and respect when they come to the country. We should salute them for their sacrifice and contribution to the development of the country. We are truly indebted to them.”
Mr. Toriqul Islam, Union Parishad Secretary of Jaliapalong Union said, “Every month I receive more than one case of fraudulence and deception as the traffickers take money from the vulnerable people in the name of sending them to foreign countries illegally. So, I earnestly urge you all to come to the Union Parishad where you can check documents that the brokers show you. We can provide you with the correct information about migration.”
At the end of the public discussion, a rally was brought about in the union.