Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged the world leaders to include the migration issue in the post-2015 development agenda with due importance and view every migrant as a ‘human person’ instead of only a factor of production.
“It is crucial that we all view every migrant as a human person – not just as an ‘element of economic activity or production’. They must enjoy all rights – as every other person,” she said.
It’s a growing need for social protection for migrants and members of their families in the countries like Bangladesh, exposed to climate change and facing some acute challenges, while safeguarding lives and livelihoods of millions of people, she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the world population continues growing. Technological advances, production management and demand for basic services are rising to shape global human mobility patterns.
The world must outline the ways how the developed and developing countries together can address the challenges of global demographics and reap benefit from migration and mobility, she said.
Laying importance on placing people at the centre of all developmental pursuits, she said, “We must ensure dignity and well- being of people”.
Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmud Ali, Minister for Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment Khandakar Mosharraf Hossain, Planning Minister AHM Mostafa Kamal spoke on the occasion.
Sir Peter Sutherland, special representative of the UN Secretary General on International Migration and Development delivered a video statement on the occasion.
Ambassador William Lacy Swing, Director General of International Organization for Migration, Swiss Ambassador to Bangladesh Christian Fotsch and UN Resident Coordinator in
Bangladesh Neal Walker also addressed the function. Welcoming the participants of the Global Meeting, she said, Bangladesh is co- hosting this Meeting with Switzerland to secure a rightful place for migration within the emerging architecture of the Post- 2015 Development Agenda.
Pointing out the Global Leadership Meeting on Population Dynamics in Dhaka in March, 2013, Sheikh Hasina said, in that meeting she shared the perspectives on impacts of migration on development.
She said Bangladesh like many other countries is engaged at the national and global levels on articulation of the Sustainable Development Goals-SDGs within Post-2015 Agenda with considerable interest.
Over the past decades, she said, Bangladesh accomplished laudable social and economic achievements, particularly in poverty eradication and women empowerment.
“Our GDP continues to grow at six percent. Our economy has shown appreciable resilience in spite of so many challenges.
Against our target of halving population living in absolute poverty to around 29%, we have already reached 31%,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said, as I often meet ordinary Bangladeshi migrants at airports or overseas, I see the need to make migration safe, orderly and beneficial. Rights of migrants should be central in our discussions and dialogues.
“In both the origin and destination countries, we must portray migration and migrant workers positively. We must de- mystify migration – to tell our people that migration is a ‘win- win’ for all societies,” she said.
She proposed six possible targets and indicators for Post- 2015 Development agenda, saying, in that way, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can prove to be visionary and transformative for all our countries over the next 15 years.
The proposals are: first-Considering the social value of the experience, skill and ideas of the migrants (social remittance), second- Viewing a migrant person as an agent of development, third- Creating an enabling atmosphere for migrants, especially
women and girls, fourth- Provide quality basic education and vocational and technical education for migrants and member of their families, matched with changing demand in markets, fifth- Partnership’ and Collaboration between developed and developing countries in sharing greater quantum of finance- knowledge- technology, and finally- Grant all rights to migrants as the world agreed in 2012 in Rio.
She called for identifying the ways that migration can contribute to poverty reduction, augment growth, reduce inequality and empower people, especially women and support the migrants with all forms of preparations to contribute in origin and destination countries as well as bringing all costs in migration process to a minimum, including the cost of remittances.
“These are also cross-cutting, in terms of most linkages with poverty alleviation and sustained, inclusive economic growth. I believe, these are universal, and would call for solutions based on a country’s unique circumstances and needs,” the Prime Minister said.