The International Organization for Migration (IOM) launched a mobile application on Wednesday to provide information on safe migration.
IOM developed the app and information platform, BdeshJaatra (https://bdeshjaatra.com/), aiming to provide information to around half a million migrant workers who leave the country annually.
The platform is hosted by BDjobs, Bangladesh’s largest job site, for job seekers looking for work within the country and beyond the border.
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.
Dr Ahmed Munirus Saleheen, Secretary at the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment (MoEWOE), formally unveiled the platform in a virtual ceremony.
Giorgi Gigauri, Chief of Mission for IOM in Bangladesh attended the programme.
Migrants remain one of Bangladesh’s most valuable investments where remittances totalled $18.32 billion in 2019 alone.
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, the IOM press release said.
The MoEWOE Secretary Mr Saleheen said they have a plan 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. BdeshJaatra is a timely initiative that will support migrants to make informed decisions.
European Union Ambassador Rensje Teerink, said well-informed decisions are sound decisions and well-informed migrants are protected migrants. This digital platform will reduce the information gap and help to ensure safe, orderly, and regular migration.
The chief of mission of 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 services home and abroad, he said.
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 Bangladesh government.