Annual Congress of Migrant Forum Members on the Dialogue “Migrants’ Budget”

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Ovibashi Kamri Unnayan Program (OKUP), being a grassroots migrants organization, has organized Annual Congress 2016. Some 400 returnee migrant workers both male and female as well as female spouses of the current migrant workers participate in the congress from 26 unions of six sub-districts under Narayangonj, Narsingdi, Munshigonj, Comilla and Faridpur. The Congress was held in Dhaka on 25 May 2017 in the eve of presenting National Budget for the FY 2017-18 on June 1, 2017. The theme of the Congress for this year was National Dialogue on Migrants Budget.

The core objective of this annual congress was to raise the voice of grassroots migrant workers to draw due attention of the government of Bangladesh for increasing budgetary allocation the countrys National Budget for their wellbeing.

Ms. Nur Jahan Begum, Honorable Member of Parliament (MP), the Peoples Republic of Bangladesh and also the parliamentary caucus on labour migration graced the chair as the Chief Guest. Mr. Jabed Ahmed, honorable Additional Secretary of Ministry of Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment attended the meeting as the special guest. Numbers of Heads of migration-lead organizations including RMMRU, WARBE, INAFI, BOMSA, BRAC etc. participated in the congress and echoed the demands raised by the migrant workers themselves.

OKUP Executive Director facilitate the National Dialogue on Migrants Budget while Shakirul Islam, Chairman, OKUP presided over the Dialogue. He also presented a research paper entitled as Contribution Vs Allocation: A Quest of Budget for Migrant Workers. This is to note that OKUP conducted a research on the topic.

16 Print media had covered the Congress news with due importance. Bangladesh Television aired a special report on the congress while a private TV channel (Channel 71) organized a talk-show in the following day. A returnee woman migrant worker, the government additional Secretary Jabed Ahmed, OKUP Chairman Shakirul Islam, and the General Secretary of Bangladesh Association Economics were invited as panelists in the talk-show.

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