The International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations Agency for Migration, launched BdeshJaatra, an online information platform that provides information on safe migration, sustainable reintegration, and remittances management for aspirant migrants, migrants abroad, returnees, and their families.
The initiative was launched under the EU funded project “Bangladesh: Sustainable Reintegration and Improved Migration Governance (Prottasha)”.
Dr. Ahmed Munirus Saleheen, Secretary, Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment (MoEWOE), launched the platform in a virtual ceremony attended by Giorgi Gigauri, Chief of Mission for IOM in Bangladesh.
Migrants remain one of Bangladesh’s most valuable investments and in 2019 alone, remittances totaled USD 18.32 billion, said IOM.
In the last five decades, Bangladesh sent over 13 million migrant workers abroad. Since the early 2000s, the Government has made concerted efforts to harness the development potential of migration for the country.
Annually upwards of half a million migrant workers leave the country and IOM in cooperation with the Government of Bangladesh works towards ensuring regular, orderly, and safe migration.
As part of this initiative, IOM developed a mobile application and information platform, BdeshJaatra (https://bdeshjaatra.com/), to deliver migrant friendly information services. The platform is hosted by BDjobs, Bangladesh’s largest job site, for job seekers looking for work within the country and beyond the border.
Dr. Ahmed Munirus Saleheen, Secretary, Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment (MoEWOE), said, “Managing migration is a key government priority and we work to ensure protection and decent employment conditions for migrant workers.”
“We value the contribution of migrant workers to our national development and we have plans to send 1,000 workers abroad from each sub-district of the country each year. 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.”
In her message, European Union Ambassador Rensje Teerink, said well-informed decisions are sound decisions and well-informed migrants are protected migrants.
“This is another initiative of the EU-funded Prottasha programme to ensure safe migration and sustainable reintegration and support improved migration governance. I believe this digital platform will reduce the information gap and help to ensure safe, orderly, and regular migration,” she said.
Giorgi Gigauri, Chief of Mission, IOM in Bangladesh said the COVID-19 crisis has impacted communities across the world.
“What we learned during this pandemic is that it is critical, now more than ever before, that migrants have regular access to up to date, verified information. The purpose of this platform is to ensure migrant workers know their rights and where they can access support and services in countries of destination. It will also make migrant workers aware of what support they will receive if they return to Bangladesh. The families of the migrants will have access to information and tools to support improved remittance management through this platform.”
BdeshJaatra provides information, in Bangla, on all stages of the migration-cycle including pre-decision, pre-departure, migration, and return.
The 6.1 MB mobile application, available for download from Google Play store, includes an offline cache feature and can be used in low data usage mode.
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.