Dhaka, Aug 30 (UNB) - The European Union (EU), International Labour Organization (ILO) and UN Women organized a national Consultative Dialogue and discussed with key stakeholders women migrant workers’ rights and opportunities in Nay Pi Taw, Myanmar on Thursday.
The consultation introduced the new ILO and UN Women “Safe and Fair” Programme to key partners and identify activities which could be undertaken in Myanmar building on the on-going efforts by the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population and the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Settlement to promote safe and fair migration practices, including to promote the labour rights and end violence against migrant women.
Government authorities, embassies, labour organizations, overseas employment agencies, community-based organizations, INGOs and UN agencies elaborated a shared roadmap that will inspire the work in Myanmar over the next five years, said a joint statement.
The meeting ensured that the project aligns with country and ASEAN level priorities, and international legal frameworks on migration, anti- trafficking, ending violence against women, and promoting women’s rights.
This national Consultative Dialogue is part of a series of ten national consultations being held in each ASEAN country.
Women migrant workers are contributing to the development and economies of both the country they work in and Myanmar, including sending significant amounts of money home and bringing back skills and contacts.
The Myanmar 2014 Population Census through backward projection methods, estimated that a total of 4.25 million persons (nearly 20 per cent of the Myanmar labour force) were living abroad.
Women make up nearly half the migrants in Thailand, China and Japan and just over half in Singapore.
Women work as domestic workers, factory workers, sex workers and in agriculture and construction.
According to the World Bank's Migration and Remittances Factbook 2016, Myanmar migrants remitted USD3.5 billion to Myanmar in 2015, nearly five per cent of the country's gross domestic product.
Myanmar women continue to migrate for livelihood reasons, and migration can be a positive experience, in which they gain skills, find meaningful employment, and gain more opportunities for themselves and their families.
Through migration, women can inform and change social, cultural, political and gender norms and can influence positive change across households and communities.
Women who are in an irregular situation and women working as domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to exploitation, abuse, violence, forced labour and trafficking due to their status and isolation, said the statement.
Fear of being deported, reluctance to report abuses to legal authorities, language and cultural barriers are among the obstacles, women who have experienced violence face, when accessing services such as health care, justice, police or social services, it said.
The positive experiences and contributions of women migrant workers can only be fully ensured if their safety, labour and human rights are fully protected and migration becomes a safe and fair process for them, said the statement.
Dhaka, Aug 30 (UNB) - A Bangladeshi youth delegation will visit Yunnan in China from September 2 as part of an ongoing effort to strengthen the relationship between Bangladesh and China through cultural exchange camp.
An orientation programme for the 150 participating students was held at the Chinese embassy in the city on Thursday for their introduction.
The programme was addressed by Zhang Zuo, Ambassador of China to Bangladesh, who briefed the participating delegates about the 2018 Bangladesh-China Youth Camp.
In his speech, the Ambassador expressed his hope that in the two-week long camp, Bangladeshi participants will learn about Chinese history and culture through communicating with young people of China and build friendship with them.
After the first camp of this kind in 2017, this is the second time the youth camp is being organized by Yunnan University and Confucius Institute at North South University (NSU), co-organized by Confucius Institute at University of Dhaka and China Radio International and Shanto-Mariam Foundation (CRI-SMF) Confucius Classroom in Dhaka.
Chinese Embassy in Bangladesh and Confucius Institute Headquarters are sponsoring the youth camp.
Mentioning the long history of friendship and cooperation between Bangladesh and China, Pro-Vice Chancellor of North South University Prof Dr G U Ahsan said, China is one of the biggest development partners of Bangladesh which has invested in multiple areas of infrastructure development in the country including roads, bridges and particularly the Padma Bridge.
This is a great opportunity for the students of Bangladesh offered by the Chinese government to explore China, learn its language, experience the natural beauty of China, meeting people of China and get to know about the culture and society of the country, said the NSU Pro-VC.
Members of the delegation are from various educational institutions, including Dhaka University, North South University and other universities, colleges and schools from different parts of the country.
They will visit important cultural and historical sites, educational institutions of Yunnan Province under the cultural exchange programme.
Dhaka, Aug 30 (UNB) - The American Embassy, including its Consular Section, will remain closed on Sunday and Monday on the occasion of US Labor Day, an American holiday, and Janmashtami, a Bangladeshi national holiday, respectively.
The American Center with the Archer K Blood American Center Library and the Education USA Student Advising Center will also remain closed.
However, emergency services for American citizens will be available, said the Embassy on Thursday.
Dhaka, Aug 30 (UNB) - A high-level delegation from the United Kingdom, led by Minister of State (Department for International Development) attached with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Alistair Burt, visited icddr,b's Mohakhali campus in the city on Thursday and lauded its activities.
British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Alison Blake and Head of DFID, Bangladesh Jim McAlpine were present.
The delegation toured icddr,b’s Dhaka Hospital, covering the intensive care unit, short stay ward, breast-feeding counselling room, immunisation room & nutrition rehabilitation unit, and commended the free-of-charge care of hundreds and thousands of people.
Dr Shams El Arifeen, acting Executive Director and Senior Director, Maternal and Child Health, presented an overview of the UK and icddr,b’s decades long life-saving partnership.
During the visit, Minister Burt lauds icddr,b’s work and said, “I’m deeply impressed by what you’re doing and also the way you’re handling the emergency situations."
He said it was great to see such innovations and capacity from the tour of the hospital and laboratory facilities.
DFID has been supporting icddr,b’s life-saving work since 1975 and helped revitalise its research operations which had been disrupted by the Liberation War of 1971.
Dhaka, Aug 30 (UNB) - Minister attached to Thai Prime Minister’s Office Dr Kobsak Pootrakool has said Thailand looks forward to immediately initiate discussions for a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Bangladesh.
The Thai Minister Kobsak said this when Bangladesh Ambassador to Thailand, Saida Muna Tasneem met Kobsak at the Thai Prime Minister’s Office in Bangkok on Thursday.
The meeting focused on a wide range of trade-investment and private sector cooperation issues between Bangladesh and Thailand as a follow-up to the official visit of Minister Kobsak to Bangladesh in May this year when he led a high-powered 32-member business and investment delegation including high officials from Royal Thai Government.
The prospects for a comprehensive FTA between Bangladesh and Thailand to reduce tariff and promote bilateral investment and transfer of technology was preliminarily discussed during the visit, said the Bangladesh Embassy.
Minister Kobsak and Bangladesh envoy discussed the modalities for initiating negotiations between the Commerce Ministries of Bangladesh and Thailand, primarily focusing on reduction of bilateral tariff and trade bbarriers and double bilateral trade by 2021.
Ambassador Tasneem also underlined that "Bangladesh should be utilized by Thailand as ASEAN’s western gateway for trade and investment with South Asian nations utilizing the Chittagong Port as well as the upcoming Matarbari Deep Sea Port.
Bangladesh Ambassador also followed up on the proposals for MOUs between Thai BOI and Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) as well as between Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority(BEZA) and Thai Industrial Zone’s Authority.
Ambassador Tasneem also reiterated a proposal to open a new frontier in Bangladesh-Thailand economic relations by recruiting Bangladesh’s semi-skilled and low skilled workers in Thaialnd's fisheries, construction, industry, agriculture and services sector.
Minister Kobsak informed Bangladesh Ambassador that pursuant to Bangladesh’s proposal for a coastal shipping MOU between Chittagong Port of Bangladesh and Ranong Port of Thailand, the Thai Cabinet has very recently approved expansion and capacity building of Ranong port to facilitate coastal trade with Bangladesh and other BIMSTEC countries.
High officials from Thai Prime Minister’s office, Thai Foreign Ministry and Bangladesh Embassy in Bangkok, and were present during the meeting.