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Anti-stigma campaign launched to aid Europe returnees

Published : Sunday, 25 September, 2022 at 12:00 AM  Count : 478

Seefar, an international social enterprise based on United Kingdom (UK), launched its new anti-stigma campaign in Bangladesh aiming to combat discrimination towards irregular migrants returning home from various European countries.
The five-month long anti-stigma campaign was launched on Saturday at a programme with the stakeholders working with the migrants and communities. Harunur Rashid, Communication Officer of Seefar, briefed about the campaign held in Dhaka.
He informed that the project was taken to reduce the stigma towards irregular Bangladeshi migrants who have returned from Europe, either forcibly or voluntarily, and support their successful reintegration into society and empowering the migrants to make informed decisions on migration.
The campaign aims to help Bangladeshi migrants returning from Europe to access psychosocial support, and works with communities to aid their successful reintegration back into society.
In the project, some 200 returnees will be eligible to receive a free and confidential psychosocial counselling session from 'The Migrant Project's experienced and professional counselling team. Returnee migrants can avail of this counseling service by filling a form online (Form Link: https://malto-crm.org/bn/forms/181) or calling the counsellors (+880 1537-315770, +880 1969-835505).
The campaign will also work with communities to better understand the unique challenges facing returnees and reduce the social stigma experienced upon return.
The social enterprise specialising in migration shows that Bangladeshi irregular migrants who return home after a failed migration attempt to reach Europe often face stigma.
According to a study in 2021 by Seefar, almost half of the migrants returning to Bangladesh face shame and stigma, and are rejected by their family and community.
Those who return empty handed with no money or savings are often viewed as "failed" migrants and shunned by their communities and even families. Many returnees also suffer from emotional trauma due to abuse and exploitation experienced abroad, it added.
"I knew it would be very difficult to make people understand. I spent around Tk 15 lakh to go to Europe. Everyone now blames me for this failure and waste of money. My parents sold their land to send me abroad," a Bangladeshi male migrant who irregularly migrated to France stated the study team.





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