IOM Backs Bangladesh’s Adoption of Migration Governance Framework

Migration Governance

Dhaka – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and the Government of Bangladesh organized a one-day national sharing and validation workshop in Dhaka this week (18/9) to finalize a migration governance framework for Bangladesh.

The workshop, which was held as part of a European Union-funded project on improved migration governance and sustainable reintegration, was attended by representatives from key ministries, development partners, the private sector, research institutions and national media. It was chaired by Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Md. Shahidul Haque.

An estimated 12 million Bangladeshis have emigrated in the past four decades. In 2017 alone, over a million people migrated for work, mainly to the Middle East, sending home some USD 13.5 billion in remittances.

While most migrate through regular channels, some continue to put their lives at risk by resorting to irregular routes operated by human smugglers and traffickers. Last year for example the Italian Ministry of Interior reported that over 9,000 Bangladeshis arrived in Italy after crossing the Mediterranean from Libya in small boats. Others are believed to have perished at sea.

The Government of Bangladesh now believes that a holistic framework on migration is needed to address irregular migration from the country and to promote safe and orderly migration that benefits all.  

“International migration is providing unequivocal scope for Bangladesh to unlock potential for sustainable development,” said Foreign Secretary Haque, “but a nation’s effort in building a beneficial and responsible migration governance framework needs to be supported by conducive political, economic, social and environmental conditions, so that migration continues to remain a choice and migrants are treated with respect and dignity.”

In 2017, IOM Bangladesh, with financial support from the European Union, launched a three-year project to build governance capacity to better manage migration. Over the next two years, the project will strengthen existing policy frameworks to improve their functionality and ensure the protection of migrants.

Audrey Maillot, the EU’s Team Leader for Governance in Bangladesh, noted that the migration and development nexus is an important component of the EU’s global approach to migration and mobility.

“The EU is committed to approach migration in a comprehensive way and to mainstream it into all relevant policy areas. As one of the political priorities of the EU, it now impacts overall EU foreign policy and development cooperation,” she said.

“This migration governance framework will set out a common understanding among stakeholders, ensure shared responsibilities and unite the nation to benefit migrants and promote safe and orderly migration opportunities,” said IOM Bangladesh Deputy Chief of Mission Sharon Dimanche. “Bangladesh is one of the first countries to come up with a migration governance framework based on a comprehensive country and migration governance indicator assessment.”

The framework aims to lay out a coherent, comprehensive and balanced vision for migration governance that takes into consideration social, economic and environmental factors. It is aligned with the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration – a non-binding global agreement on migration governance prepared under the auspices of the United Nations and slated for adoption at an intergovernmental conference in Marrakesh, Morocco, in December 2018.

For more information please contact Chowdhury Asif Mahmud Bin Harun at IOM Bangladesh, Tel. +880 1755509476, Email:

  • Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Md. Shahidul Haque addresses the migration governance workshop. Photo: Tanmoy Saha Turja / IOM