Safe migration awareness campaigns require hassle free access to services

Information gap exists between the supply and demand side of information spectrum within the migration sector. Government needs to ensure a strong infrastructural support for migration- training officers, integrating middleman into the system, ensuring legal protection of migrant rights while in the demand side, public need to be aware of migrant rights, government’s migration facilities through helplines, door to door mass campaigns at the grassroots level. There needs to be a behavioral shift across the board through a sound communication strategy.

Migrants using informal route or middleman to migrate overseas are at higher risk of abuse and exploitation. A study by IID reveals that about 50 percent people are unaware of govt. or NGO activities to promote safe and regulated migration while less than 20 percent people are aware of the migration act. Such information gap limits the fairer labor migration process.

The 16th Policy Breakfast of IID was held on 18th March 2018 to address the information gap in labor migration. Focus of the policy discussion was to discuss about popular awareness strategies for labor migration, successful communication strategies in other development sectors, major challenges in reaching the grassroots and the major innovations in grassroots communications that migration sector can adept.

Unanimously all attendees agreed that information needs to be disseminated to grassroots thoroughly. However, infrastructural support should be provided from government and supporting stakeholders at the same time. Other suggestions coming from the breakfast were training of government’s migration officers, middle man integration within the purview of migration policy framework, community level engagement, helpline number, sharing of success stories of returnee migrants , providing motivation for migrants and self-awareness of migrants, integration of local religious leaders and registration of aspirant migrants.

To address the information gap, IID also launched ‘বিভুঁই’ (Bibhui) android application during the event. The mobile application provides practicable solutions to the most conventional migration related problems. The app has already gained popularity among the migrant workers. Deputy Speaker & MP Md Fazle Rabbi Miah, chairperson of ‘WARBE Development Foundation’ Syed Saiful Haque,  Director of ‘BMET’ Nurul Islam and Executive Director of ‘Ain o Salish Kendra’ Sheepa Hafiza were present among others at the launching ceremony of ‘Bibhui’.

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