Airport Welfare Desks Aim to Aid Bangladeshi Migrants

Posted: 
10/02/18
Themes: 
Integrated Border Management, Migrant Assistance

Dhaka – The UN Migration Agency (IOM) has re-established five migrant welfare desks at Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjahal International Airport to serve as information and documentation points for outbound and returning Bangladeshi migrants. The desks will provide the migrants with better access to reliable information, documentation and pre-departure and post-arrival services.
 
Bangladeshi migrant workers play a key role in the nation’s economy, which has seen an average annual growth rate of 6 percent over the past decade. Migrant workers, who have sent home an estimated USD 138 billion in remittances since 2008, have played a major role in this success story.

But while many migrants have successfully migrated and returned home, others have opted for irregular channels and become victims of smugglers and traffickers. Bangladeshis travelling irregularly through Libya and across the Mediterranean to reach Europe have become a major concern for both European Union (EU) member states and the Government of Bangladesh. Many have died on the dangerous route and others have become stranded in Europe. 

According to the Bangladeshi government, reestablishing reliable information centers and improving service standards will help migrants to make informed choices and encourage them to take regular pathways. “Services need to be made more accessible and effective and there is no room for compromise,” said the Bangladesh Expat Secretary Rownaq Jahan.

IOM re-established the welfare desks at Hazrat Shahjahal International Airport’s arrival and departure lounges as part of an EU-funded project: Prottasha – Bangladesh: Sustainable Reintegration and Improved Migration Governance.

"The EU supports initiatives in partner countries to strengthen their capacity in all relevant areas of migration management. These desks can play a vital role to facilitate safe migration and sustainable reintegration,” said EU Ambassador to Bangladesh Rensje Teernik.

According to Bangladesh’s Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET), an estimated one million Bangladeshis migrated for work in 2017. This number is likely to increase with the government targeting economic growth of 8 percent by 2020. 

“Access to accurate and timely information at all stages of migration is a basic right for migrants,” said IOM Bangladesh Chief of Mission Giorgi Gigauri. “That means mainstreaming rights-based policies and having the right kind of infrastructure – like these desks - to meet adequate service delivery standards.”

For more information please contact Chowdhury Asif Mahmud Bin Harun at IOM Bangladesh, Email: mbinharun@iom.int, Tel. +880.1755509476.

  • Migrants verify their documents at a migrant welfare desk in Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjahal International Airport. Photo: IOM 2018

  • One of the four migrant welfare desks during its construction. Photo: IOM 2018

  • Migrants verify their documents at a migrant welfare desk in Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjahal International Airport. Photo: IOM 2018

  • Migrants verify their documents at a migrant welfare desk in Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjahal International Airport. Photo: IOM 2018