On January 12, Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU) organised a hybrid dissemination workshop on the study “Impact of Migration on Transformation to Sustainability: Poverty and Development in Bangladesh”. The workshop took place both on online and offline platforms in which 47 guests joined through zoom and 50 more were present physically. In this workshop RMMRU presented the findings of a long running panel survey of over 6000 households, spanning 20 districts of Bangladesh. The study examines the sustainability of economic and social gains and implications of losses experienced by the households. Mr. Md. Shhahriar Alam M.P., the State Minister of Foreign Affairs attend as the Chief Guest. The Special Guests were Dr. Md. Habibur Rahman of Bangladesh Bank and Ms. Suzanne Mueller, Director of Cooperation and Acting Head of Mission of the Embassy of Switzerland.
The dissemination workshop was divided into three sessions. The inaugural was chaired by, Dr. Hossain Zillur Rahman, former Adviser to the Caretaker Government of Bangladeh and the Working Session 1 and 2 were chaired by Mr. Md. Shahidul Haque, Former Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh and Md. Shahidul Alam, Director General, Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET) respectively.
In the Working Session 1, Dr. C. Rashaad Shabab of the University of Sussex presented the key findings on Poverty Dynamics, Expenditure Growth and Migration. Dr. Mustafizur Rahman, Distinguished Fellow of Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), Professor Atonu Rabbani of BRAC University and Dr. Nashid Rizwana Monir, Deputy Secretary of Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment were the Panel Discussants and provided comments on the findings.
Dr. Ananta Neelim of the University of Tasmania presented the key findings on Transitions in Migration Status and Gender Differences at the Working Session 2. Professor Selim Raihan of University of Dhaka and SANEM and Ms. Tapati Saha, Programme Analyst of UN Women reflected on the key findings.
“Global GDP would be doubled if all those who wanted to migrate were able to migrate” said Mr. Md. Shhahriar Alam M.P., the State Minister. He also emphasised that women’s right to migrate should be honoured by creating a safe migration environment.
Dr. Hossain Zillur Rahman, former Adviser to the Caretaker Government of Bangladesh felt the time has come for internal migrants to receive the same policy attention as that of international migrants.
Mr. Md. Shahidul Haque, Former Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh commended the research for bringing internal migration so strongly to the policy arena for the first time.
Ms. Suzanne Mueller, Acting Head of the Embassy of Switzerland stated that given the importance of migration in consumption smoothing and economic growth, among the bilateral donors, Switzerland is strongly committed to policy research on migration.
Some of the key messages of workshop include:
- Migration enhances the economic sustainability of the household and helps households to withstand shocks triggered by pandemic and climate change related disasters. Migration enables these households them to achieve a greater degree of resilience than non-migrant household.
- Female internal and international migrants come from more disadvantaged background, are more likely to be widowed and divorced and to have lower levels of education. Participating in migration reduces the unadjusted gender gap in earning.
- Internal migration can be a core element of Bangladesh’s transformation to sustainability. Therefore investments in public services and facilities that support internal migrants such as low-cost transportation, accommodation and legal aid are likely to yield high social returns.
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