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11 December, 2016 00:00 00 AM
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Migrants’ rights must be ensured

Say global experts
DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT

Every right of every migrant of the world will have to be ensured, global experts said yesterday, placing great emphasis on an action-oriented universal governance system to ensure that. Speaking on the first day of the ninth summit on Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) at the  Bangabandhu International Conference Centre, they also said that migration should be a matter of choice, not a matter of need and called for addressing the root causes of forced migration that put people’s lives at risk. A compact for governance of migration, proposed by Bangladesh in April and expected to be adopted in 2018, should be inclusive with active participation of all the stakeholders, experts told the summit with the theme ‘Migration that works for sustainable development for all: Towards a transformative migration agenda’.
Following extensive negotiations, the compact is expected to be adopted by the countries in 2018. “Migration should be an option, not a necessity. Out of hope, not out of despair,” United Nations Secretary-General-designate António Guterres said in a video message at the inauguration session of the summit.
“It is also very important to understand that now all societies are becoming multiethnic, multicultural and multi-religious. And that is a good thing. That is richness, not a threat,” he said. “But for diversity to be a success there must be enormous investment - political investment, social investment, economic, cultural, religious investment in bringing people together in ensuring social cohesion in our societies involving governments, local authorities, the civil society to make people feel that their identities are respected but at the same time they belong to the communities,” he added.
Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, in his welcome address, highlighted the importance of the presence of a global migration governance system as migration has been included in sustainable development goals (SDGs). Expatriates Welfare Minister Nurul Islam urged the forum to bring all the issues affecting the migrants and said that migrants contribute both to the sending and receiving countries. LGRD Minister and former Expatriates Welfare Minister Minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain said that about 10 lakh Bangladeshi migrants are keeping the economy of the country moving through sending remittance and stressed the need for upholding the dignity of all migrants – male, female and children.
Wu Hongbo, who represented the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, read out a message of the UN chief that described Bangladesh as steadfast champion of safe, orderly and regular migration.
International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Director General William Lacy Swing mentioned climate change as one of the big reasons for migratory moves and said that ensuring orderly migration will be a challenge in the disorderly world. International Labour Organisation (ILO) Director General Guy Ryder said that the labour issues need to be discussed in the proposed global compact and there must not be any fraudulent activities in recruiting migrant labourers.
Deputy Executive Director of UN Women Lakshmi Puri, who represented the Chair of the Global Migration Group (GMG), emphasised the need for dynamic governance so that no migrant is left behind.  Senior Adviser of Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for International Migration Francois Fouinat reminded the critical role played by the GFMD to address the migration-related issues.
GFMD business mechanism coordinator Linda Kromjong, while placing report on business mechanism, Laid emphasis on public-private dialogue in order to try to address the migration-related problems. Placing the civil society report, Colin Rajah, the Chair of ninth GFMD civil society days (December 8-9), said, “Human rights must be ensured for all migrants.”
In the programme styled ‘Common Space’ moderated by Senior Adviser to GFMD 2016 Chair Gervais Appave with the theme ‘Time to Act – Compact for Governance of Migration’, Francois Fouinat presented the keynote speech highlighting different aspects of the proposed compact while Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque, Chair of GFMD 2016, and Expatriates Welfare Secretary Begum ShamsunNahar delivered welcome remarks.
United Arab Emirates Minister for Human Resources and Emiratisation SaqGhobash expressed his interest to adopt the compact in 2018, saying that creative solution is necessary to address the migration-related problems. He laid emphasis on skill and pro-migration and pot-migration orientation of the migrants. Indian State Minister for External Affairs MJ Akbar cautioned against mixing migration with refugee issue saying that if it is done it will be a disservice to the causes of migrants. Former Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni stressed the need for addressing the root causes of migration and reminded the countries that benefited by the migrants of their obligations. United States Assistant Secretary for Refugees and Migration Anne C Richard expressed her shock at the recent backlash against refugees and migrants in many countries including her own. Former Special Adviser on Summit on Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants Karen AbuZayd talked of a shared vision and called for working collectively to address the migration-related problems. Terre Des Hommes International General Secretary Ignacio Packer said that it is time to act highlighting on three elements – urgency, implementation and inclusiveness. “It’s all about togetherness,” he added.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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