The government of Bangladesh has approved a three-year project of the UN migration agency International Organization for Migration (IOM) at the Economic Relations Division to facilitate sustainable reintegration of returnee migrants from Europe and improve the overall migration governance space in the country.
The deal was signed on Wednesday between the Bangladesh government and IOM.
“This is a challenging initiative. There is a need to work very closely with the local actors such as the local administration, elites and implementing partners to realize the outcomes,” said Additional Secretary to the Economic Relations Division, Dr Kazi Anowarul Hoque.
The Bangladesh labour market can provide only about 200,000 new formal sector jobs a year, while there are about 1.8 million new labour market entries per year. This massive labour market gap has led to large scale migration over the years, often working as a push factor for irregular migration. Several European countries such as Greece and Italy continue to remain preferred destinations for migrants taking irregular pathways. While data on forced migration in Europe has been limited, a significant number of migrants are believed to be overstaying.
“IOM will work closely with the Bangladesh Government and European Union to create opportunities for returning migrants to have a dignified social and economic life upon their return,” said Acting Chief of IOM Bangladesh, Abdusattor Esoev.
The government has taken several steps to ease and simplify regular and authorized channel of migration over time. Legal instruments like the “Prevention and Suppression of Human Trafficking Act, 2012”, and the “Overseas Employment and Migrants Act, 2013” are some of the primary supporting mechanisms the government has developed in this regard.