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‘Students must create awareness on migration issues’

  • Published at 09:33 pm December 2nd, 2019
Speakers at 'The Global Migration Film Festival' at Dhaka University (DU) on Monday, December 2, 2019 Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

15 selected films were screened during the program at RC Majumdar Arts auditorium at DU

State Minister for Information, Dr Murad Hasan urged students to ‘alert and create awareness’ among relatives and others in their vicinity to be conscious of human trafficking.

While addressing the audience as chief guest at "The Global Migration Film Festival" at Dhaka University (DU) on Monday, the state minister claimed that the government is trying to create awareness among people through short messaging service (SMS) via cellphones, social media and different visual mediums. 

Emphasizing on the issue of global migration, he urged: “Do not ask for help from any third party (broker) or human trafficker, to go abroad.”

The day-long festival was arranged for the second time in Bangladesh, hosted by the Dhaka University Film Society (DUFS) in collaboration with the European Union, and migration program giants International Organization for Migration (IOM).

15 selected films were screened during the program at RC Majumdar Arts auditorium at DU.

During the inauguration session the United Nations migration agency IOM’s chief of Bangladesh mission, Giorgi Gigauri said: “We usually tend to have formal discussions and migration related programs. It is new and fascinating for me to attend such a film festival regarding migration which can garner more attention on the issue.”

“I think it is also very important that when we talk about migration, we must not forget why we are here -- because of the people who have migrated,” he added.

“The migrants’ stories are of emotions but they are normal people just like us. The selected films tell stories of internal migrants, victims of human trafficking, migration due to environmental changes and how people cope across the world in regard to economic and climate migration,” Gigauri added. 

He further suggested that we must not only emphasize on the authorities’ decisions but also on the education of migration seekers so that they equip themselves to be compatible in any country.

While expressing his satisfaction over Bangladeshi authorities’ concern over the issue of migration, he said: “I am very happy to be in a country which appreciates migration.”

Former DU VC and the moderator of DUFS, Prof Arefin Siddique said: “Since our Independence, we are sending our people, students as employees and vocational people abroad. During the Pakistani regime, it was very difficult to get a passport to travel overseas.”

Elaborating on the role of independence, Siddique recounted how Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman led us to freedom, allowing us a passport which gave us the identity of a global citizen.  

“In the Middle East, our people are working and contributing to our inward remittances; enriching our economic status every day,” Prof Siddique added.  

Noted actor Fazlur Rahman Babu expressed his satisfaction after watching the films and said: “These films can uphold the real truth to the people.”

Shariful Hasan, migration program chief, BRAC, said there were countless unknown stories behind each expatriate which can be surfaced by these films. 

Over the years, films have been used to inform, entertain, educate, and provoke debate on migration. It is in this spirit that IOM, the UN Migration Agency, launched the Global Migration Film Festival (GMFF) in 2016.