08/08/2019, 17.03
BANGLADESH
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Caritas promotes rights and safe migration

by Sumon Corraya

Thousands of Bangladeshis emigrate each year in search of work. Many leave without proper papers. Volunteers at the Caritas ITC Centre in Sirajdikhan provide useful information and show how to fill out forms. For Caritas Dhaka, this is a way “to ensure social justice”.

 

Munshiganj (AsiaNews) – The Caritas ITC (Information and Communication Technology) centre in Sirajdikhan, Munshiganj subdistrict (Dhaka Division), is dedicated to safe migration, worker protection and family support.

Over time, it has been able to reduce illegal emigration by 60 per cent through its Migrants and Disadvantaged Communities project in order to protect the right of the most vulnerable groups of the population to a better life.

“People move from one city to another city, even go another country for a better life,” said Caritas Dhaka regional director Jyoti Gomes, speaking to AsiaNews. “As migrants they face challenges. With the Caritas project we stand with those who need help and to ensure social justice.”

Due to the lack of work, thousands of Bangladeshis emigrate abroad every year. Many leave without the right papers. About 80 people have left ​​Munshiganj for countries in the Middle East, Europe and North America.

To counter the phenomenon of illegal departures, Caritas staff hold meetings on a regular basis in the Centre’s courtyard. Every time, hundreds of people take part.

Volunteers stress the importance of respecting the rules of the country of destination when going abroad. They also provide useful information and explain how to fill out the necessary papers.

Imam Uddin, 65-year-old Muslim leader in Munshiganj, praises the work by Caritas in favour of safe migration.

He said that thousands of people from his area visited Caritas office to check their visa to see if it has any problem. Many overseas companies cheat those want to go abroad.

Local Catholics, who are a small community, also rely on the project.

“In past people didn’t know the proper way to go abroad,” said Runi Peris, 55, who goes to the Solepue Catholic Church in Munshiganj. “They could not check their visa and many were cheated. But now, by getting the right information, Catholics can go to developed country legally at low cost”.

Caritas staff also reaches out to migrant families, encouraging them to save remittance money. It also runs a health awareness programme and offers computer literacy courses. These are particularly successful among unemployed young people.

“I took a computer course from Caritas for 1,600 takas (US$ 19). It was very useful to me, if I didn’t learn to use a computer, I might not get a job,” said Catholic Sandra Gomes, 23.

The Caritas ITC centre also helps those who already have a job, like Jolaca Begum, a 58-year-old farmer, who, thanks to ITC volunteers, found solutions online to fight the insects that infested her crops.

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