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Shahriar Alam: Govt will not tolerate illegal migration

  • Published at 08:21 am May 21st, 2019
web-migration media award
State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam hands over the Migration Media Award 2018 to one of the recipients on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 Courtesy

He also said Bangladesh has signed an agreement with the European Union (EU) and are repatriating and reintegrating the irregular migrants from Europe

State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam has said the government will not tolerate any illegal practices in the migration sector, as it has a zero-tolerance policy for illegal migration.

"We don't encourage illegal migration," he said at the Brac Migration Media Award 2018 ceremony held at Brac Centre Inn in Dhaka on Tuesday.

Referring to the recent incident where 39 Bangladeshis went missing after a boat capsized in the Mediterranean Sea off the Tunisian coast on May 11, the state minister said those who had gone to Libya with the dream of reaching Europe illegally should be brought under the law.

Bangladesh imposed restrictions on sending Bangladeshis to Libya in 2014, after considering the volatile situation caused by civil wars there.

Shahriar Alam said Bangladesh has signed an agreement with the European Union (EU) and are repatriating and reintegrating the irregular migrants from Europe.

He also advised journalists to investigate and identify middlemen who were luring overseas jobseekers with false promises and leaving them in danger on illegal migration routes.

EU acting head of cooperation in Bangladesh Doerte Bosse said the EU does not want to stop migration but it is against dangerous and unprotected migration.

She also said the EU is working with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Brac to return and reintegrate irregular Bangladeshi migrants, and create awareness against illegal migration.

Thirteen journalists received the Brac Migration Media Award 2018, for their outstanding contributions to promoting and protecting the rights of migrants and their families.

An awards ceremony was arranged by Brac—at its Dhaka headquarters on Tuesday—to announce the winners in seven categories, including: print newspapers (national), print newspapers (local), television (news and program), radio, online news sites, and photography.

Md Wasim Uddin Bhuiyan from New Age, Parimal Palma from The Daily Star, and Arafat Ara from The Financial Express received the awards in the newspaper (national) category. Shafi Chowdhury from Daily Jalalabad won for the newspaper (local) category; Independent Tv’s Mejbaul Haque, Bangla Vision’s Mizaj Uddin Gazi, and Channel 24’s Morshed Hasib Hasan won in television news; and Boni Islam of Independent TV won in television (program).

Meanwhile, Bangladesh Betar's Mostafizur Rahman  got the award in the radio category, and Prio.com 's Imrul Kayes, bdnews24.com's Abdullah Alif, and Bangla Tribune's Saddif Sohrab Ovee won in the in online category. Additionally, Hasan Ahmed Chowdhruy Kiron won in the blog category.

State Minister of Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam handed over the prizes and cheques to the winners, while former Dhaka University vice-chancellor AAMS Arefin Siddique presented the keynote paper.

The award-presentation event was arranged under Brac’s “Prottasha” program, with the help of the European Union and International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Rownaq Jahan, secretary of Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment, Selim Reza, director general of the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET), and IOM chief Giorgi Gigauri were also present at the awards-giving ceremony.

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