Exploring the idea of a Regional Parliamentarians’ Caucus

Since South Asia is the major labor-sending region, a regional Parliamentarian’ Caucus on migration and development can enable the experience sharing and strengthen the global advocacy to protect the rights of the migrants.

Parliamentarians from Nepal, Bangladesh and the Philippines met in Dhaka to discuss the role of parliamentarians in policy advocacy for fairer labor migration.

The Parliamentarians’ Meeting for strengthening the protection for migrant domestic workers was held on 29 July, 2019. It was co-organized by IID, WARBE DF and Migrant Forum in Asia, with the support of PROKAS, British Council.

During the opening discussion, Syeed Ahamed of IID mentioned that the parliamentarians are the elected representatives of the people and to implement people’s aspiration for a fair and ethical migration process, parliamentarians need to play a key role in creating an enabling and legal environment.

The consultation aimed at discussing the prevalent issues and challenges that migrant domestic workers in Bangladesh, Nepal and Philippines are facing with corresponding government initiatives. Besides, what are the issues and challenges being faced by members of parliament and CSO representatives of Nepal and Bangladesh as they work on advocating for the ratification of ILO C189. Also, the recent experience and outcome of the participation of High Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in New York was shared in the meeting.

Highlighting the inter-country cooperation, Gerry Fox, Team Lead of PROKAS, British Council, floated the idea of an agreement among the migrant sending countries to promote the rights of the migrants.

Members of Bangladesh Parliamentarians’ Caucus on Migration & Development Md. Israfil Alam, MP; Shamim Haidar Patwari, MP; former members of parliament Jebunnessa Afroz, Hosne Ara Lutfa Dalia, Roksana Yasmin Suty represented Bangladesh in the meeting.

Members of Parliament Deepak Prakash Bhatt, MP; Ram Kumari Jhakri, MP, Prakash Rasaili Snehe, MP; Amrita Devi Agrahari; MP and ; Som Prasad Lamichhane of Pravasi Nepali Co-Ordination Committee represented Nepal, while Rep. Aniceto D. Bertiz III, MP represented the Philippines in the meeting.

Among others, Alexis Nadine Bautista of Migrant Forum in Asia, Professor C R Abrar of RMMRU and Syed Saiful Haque of WARBE DF, Jerry Fox and Shirin Lira of British Council/Prokas were present in the event.

The Chairperson of Bangladesh Parliamentarians Caucus Md. Israfil Alam, MP read out the Dhaka Declaration calling for a Regional Parliamentarian Caucus to protect the rights of the migrants.

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