The International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations agency for migration, launched an online information platform for Bangladeshis.
The platform – BdeshJaatra (https://bdeshjaatra.com/) – provides information on safe migration, sustainable reintegration, and remittances management for aspiring migrants, migrants abroad, returnees, and their families, according to an IOM press release.
It was launched at a virtual ceremony on Thursday by Dr Ahmed Munirus Saleheen, secretary, Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment (MoEWOE),
A mobile application of the platform is available for download from Google Play store.
Upwards of half a million migrant workers leave the country annually; in collaboration with the Government of Bangladesh, IOM works towards ensuring regular, orderly, and safe migration. As part of this initiative, IOM developed the mobile application and the information platform, BdeshJaatra, to deliver migrant-friendly information services.
The platform is hosted by BDjobs, Bangladesh's largest job site, and targets job seekers looking for work within the country and beyond the border.
As the chief guest of the launching event, Munirus Saleheen said, "We don't want any irregular migration or human trafficking. Managing migration is a key Government priority and we work to ensure protection and decent employment conditions for migrant workers."
"Information on safe migration, reintegration, and remittance management is essential to prevent exploitation, indebtedness, discrimination and abuse. BdeshJaatra is a timely initiative that will support migrants to make informed decisions," he added.
He mentioned that the government has plans to send 1,000 workers abroad from each Upazilla of the country each year.
Mentioning the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on migration, Giorgi Gigauri, Chief of Mission, IOM in Bangladesh, said, "What we learned during this pandemic is that it is critical, now more than ever before, for migrants to have regular access to up-to-date, verified information. The purpose of this platform is to ensure that migrant workers know their rights and know where they can access support and services in their countries of destination."
"It will also build migrant workers' awareness about the nature of support they will receive if they return to Bangladesh. The families of migrants will have access to information and tools to support improved remittance management through this platform," he added.
Among others, AKM Fahim Mashroor, CEO, Bdjobs.com; Amair Zabella, a representative from European Union spoke at the event.
The platform is developed under the European Union-funded project titled "Bangladesh: Sustainable Reintegration and Improved Migration Governance (Prottasha)," implemented by IOM in partnership with BRAC under the leadership of the Government of Bangladesh.
Migrants remain one of Bangladesh's most valuable investments and in 2019 alone, remittances totalled USD 18.32 billion.
In the last five decades, Bangladesh sent over 12 million migrant workers abroad, the press release noted.