Lack of access to services and information, including changed border processes, repatriations, poor health care, among other factors, place South Asian migrants at risk. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the vulnerability of Afghan, Pakistani and Bangladeshi migrants, and rendered accurate information even more necessary. ICMPD’s Migrant Resource Centres, funded by the European Union, reach out and provide reliable information to empower migrants in an effort to address this challenge.

Through the Silk Routes Facility we are funding a project to assist female migrant workers returning to Bangladesh to re-enter society as well as the national workforce.

Migration is very common in Bangladesh and returning migrants are a potential big asset for the country. However, there is no re-integration strategy today and no clear vision on the type of services needed. Moreover, there is a lack of consideration for female migrant workers in particular. As a result, large numbers of migrant workers are not staying in Bangladesh, but instead re-migrating.

The following news story covers North Macedonia police finding 148 migrants hidden in trucks: https://www.dawn.com/news/1574041/north-macedonia-police-find-148-migrants-including-81-pakistanis-in-trucks

The consequences of this latest event could have been tragic. By helping to develop appropriate policies, capacity-building locally and awareness raising in Silk Routes countries we are working to stop trafficking in human beings, the smuggling of migrants and irregular migration.

Bangladesh is one of the major labour-exporting countries in the Asia-Pacific region, and revenue generated from migration is one of the driving forces of economic growth.

Poverty, gender discrimination and limited livelihood options in rural areas create a supply of female workers for countries with high demands for migrants. South Asia and the Middle East are the main destinations, but the   protection of migrant workers’ rights here is very limited. Women, in particular, are susceptible to exploitation and abuse when they are forced to migrate or willingly choose to leave Bangladesh.

Kabul: We are delighted to announce that our Migrant Resource Centre (MRC) in Afghanistan now has 12,000 followers. This milestone has been reached thanks to the valuable information that it is providing citizens, and its popularity continues to grow. We are also happy that despite the problems created by COVID-19, our digital presence means that we can aid and support the people of Afghanistan in these testing times.

The widespread national lockdowns witnessed since March 2020 unveiled the fragility of international cooperation.

As Secretariat to four major Migration Dialogues, ICMPD and their respective Chairs mobilised Dialogues’ rich experience, knowledge and networks to counter fragmented responses to a crisis that goes beyond health and the economy.

Vienna: People are increasingly being forced to move due to the effects of climate change. Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan are significantly affected in this regard. While climate-induced migration is a real and growing phenomenon, little is still known about it. The SAMAC project therefore aims to strengthen civil society organisations (CSOs) locally to address this topic.

The objectives are to build knowledge, research and evidence-gathering on climate-induced migration by CSOs for engagement with policy makers and the media. This should lead to constructive advocacy for effective policies that reduce the risks of environmental and climate-induced migration, and protect the rights of those forced to migrate as a result of climate change or environmental causes.

Islamabad/ Lahore: Are you wondering what our Migrant Resource Centre (MRC) is active with in Pakistan? This infographic gives you a snapshot of our outreach activities, the channels we are using, the topics of interest to MRC users and our awareness-raising actions.

To remain updated on our activities, please follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/PAKMRC and on Twitter @mrc_pak

Baghdad: The EU-funded Integrated Border Management in the Silk Routes (IBM Silk Routes) project has provided Iraq’s border agencies with personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical supplies to help combat the spread of coronavirus. The delivery comes shortly after the Federal Government of Iraq formally decided, on 23 July, to re-open border crossings for commercial traffic. While non-commercial transit of the borders remains limited, the decision will encourage an increase in cross-border trade and business.