Published:  12:06 AM, 03 December 2019

'Migration should be out of aspiration, not desperation'

Speakers at a function on Monday said politicisation, human trafficking, and ill-treatment are the key challenges in the migration sector, locally and globally.

Those who attended the inaugural session of the 'Global Migration Film Festival' also said migration should happen out of aspiration, not desperation. IOM Bangladesh with support from the European Union in association with Dhaka University Film Society organized the Global Migration Film Festival (GMFF) at Dhaka University, reports UNB.

International Organization for Migration (IOM) Bangladesh Mission chief Giorgi Gigauri, European Union (EU) Ambassador to Bangladesh Rensje Teerink, former DU VC Dr AAMS Arefin Siddique, Prof Dr Delwar Hossain and film Director N. Rashed Chowdhury, among others, spoke at the event.

IOM Bangladesh Mission chief Giorgi Gigauri said films have the power to show different facets of life, which can in turn help viewers cultivate deeper empathy for migrants and a better understanding of their realities, needs, perspectives, and capacities. "We need to acknowledge the contributions of migrants to their communities. Moreover, the challenges and opportunities should be addressed properly," he said.

GMFF in Dhaka featured 15 films that capture the promise and challenges of migration and the unique contributions that migrants make to their new communities. The migration nexus of Bangladesh has always been very dynamic, according to IOM. In Bangladesh, it said, approximately 0.73 million workers migrated to different countries in 2018 and around 12 million Bangladeshi nationals are employed.

EU Ambassador Teerink said there are many positive sides of migration, such as migrant's economic contribution to their community. "However, there're challenging sides as well. Migration should happen out of aspiration, not desperation," she said adding that awareness is the key to informed migration.

The EU envoy said the Global Migration Film Festival is a great effort to showcase the challenges and opportunities through visuals. "It will help increase the awareness of migration." Dr Arefin Siddique said migration is a big issue for Bangladesh now and in recent times, they have seen some disappointing stories of women migrants who are returning from abroad. 

"We've many things to do. We need to be human and humble to deal with the challenges of migration. People need detailed information for regular migration," he said adding that the film festival in Bangladesh raises awareness and shares the challenges and opportunities of migration through visuals which is very important.

Rashed Chowdhury said migrants feel depressed for leaving behind their own culture and ethnicity. "Moreover, their emotions and love is neglected. I think film is the best tool to show their emotion, reality, and challenges empathically. And, new films makers should emphasis more on migration."

The festival included another session in the evening where State Minister for Information Dr Murad Hasan, Deputy Chief of Mission, IOM Bangladesh Emrah Guler, DU Prof Dr Shafiul Alam Bhuiyan, actor Fazlur Rahman Babu, journalist Munni Saha, Head of Migration Program, BRAC Shariful Hasan, filmmaker and writer Sadat Hossain talked about the festival.

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