EU to support reintegration of undocumented migrants after return

EU to support reintegration of undocumented migrants after return

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Dhaka – The European Union (EU) has offered cooperation to Bangladesh in designing a special programme for the reintegration of returnees as Bangladesh wants a ‘return and reintegration package’ for its ‘irregular’ migrants living in European countries, UNB news agency has reported.
The package might include training, skill development and small business for the returnees with the help of the EU so that the returnees can smoothly reintegrate into societies and carry forward their lives in a ‘dignified’ manner.
The EU also offered cooperation in the field of information campaign and awareness-raising on the danger of irregular migration after both sides discussed the matter relating to Bangladeshis in irregular situation in the European countries.The offer came at the first-ever Bangladesh-EU Dialogue on Migration Management amid its call to Bangladesh for bringing back some 80,000 irregular nationals living in various European countries.
Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque led the Bangladesh delegation while the 10-member EU delegation was led by Deputy Secretary General for Global and Economic Issues, European External Action Service Christian Leffler.
The Bangladesh side highlighted the government’s policy of bringing all the people in irregular situation back as well as the need for widening the scope of safe, orderly and regular migration.
Bangladesh felt that it is State’s responsibility to bring back the irregular migrants who are suffering abroad, even if the number is two.
After the dialogue, held at the state guesthouse Meghna, both sides, however, did not want to mention the figure, earlier disclosed by Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan, saying the number is not important
rather the issue of its handling is important.
“This is completely an evolving situation. We cannot the give the number. The important issue is to work together and agree between us – Bangladesh and the European Union authorities – on an effective,
transparent and fair process to move these issues forward,” Leffler told reporters.
He made it sure that the media did not pick up the figure – 80,000 – from him and said there are Bangladeshis in ‘irregular situation’ in the Europe like other foreign nationals.
“We agreed we’ll work together so that these people can be brought back safely to their homes and find a good productive way to reintegrate into their society,” the EU delegation leader said explaining how migrants become irregular.
He said they both looked at how to address this in an overall ‘comprehensive fashion’ looking at the management of regular migration flows and handling irregular flows in a ‘structured, orderly and dignified’ manner.
The EU delegation chief thinks this would help those involved in the process, including people who return to the country of origin, to find a place to reintegrate in the society and move forward with
their lives.
Asked whether they discussed the readmission agreement with Bangladesh, Leffler said they have discussed the best ways of handling these issues and the processes they can put in place to
manage together.
Foreign Secretary Haque said they discussed how the irregular migrants can be brought back ‘safely and productively’.
“At the same time we had an initial discussion as to create a greater platform for migration and mobility between Bangladesh and the EU. This is the main development,” he added.
Describing the dialogue very productive, Haque said they also discussed as to how further collaboration can be taken forward.
In the dialogue, the two sides agreed to continue the dialogue looking at a wide-ranging approach to address the issues of migration and mobility and agreed to launch a regular structured migration
dialogue looking at benefits migration brings to the who society and the challenges that appear by irregular migration.
The dialogue focused on the entire spectrum of migration and mobility including global migration situation, Global Forum on Migration and Development, 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in relation to migration, irregular migration and trafficking, according to a joint statement issued by the Foreign Ministry here.
The dialogue also explored possibilities of wider cooperation on migration and mobility through a possible comprehensive political declaration.
The visiting EU delegation also had discussions with Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Nurul Islam BSc and Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan on Monday.

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