Israfil Alam Was Strong Advocate for Protection of Bangladeshi Migrants

Bangladeshi lawmaker and migrant rights activist Israfil Alam passed away on Monday in hospital care due to respiratory complications. He was 55.

Alam earlier recovered from the COVID-19 illness, but was admitted to Square Hospital in Dhaka on July 17 after a flare-up in his respiratory distress.

He breathed his last at the private hospital at 6.20 am, said his nephew Monwar Hossain Don.

Alam, a prominent labour leader, elected MP for the first time in the national election in 2008 was the current chairman of Parliamentarians Caucus on Migration and Development.

He also served as the head of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Labour and Employment. He was also a member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Textile and Jute Industries.

Born in Jhina village in Raninagar Upazila of Naogaon, his early life was rooted in a humble beginning with Titas Gas Company as a ‘meter reader’. He was the general secretary of the Dhaka Mohanagar Shramik League.

Local and international migration experts, activists and rights organizations have expressed condolences at the sudden death of the lawmaker.

Manila based Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA) regional coordinator William Gois in a message said that ‘It is with deep sadness that our colleague HON. ISRAFIL ALAM, MP, Bangladesh passed away this morning.’

Describing him as a strong advocate for the protection and promotion of the rights of Bangladeshi migrants and a respected leader in the international community, MFA recalled that he established the Bangladesh Parliamentary Caucus on Migration and Development, and supported MFA's campaigns on migrants' rights.

‘In our last parliamentary consultation held in Dhaka Bangladesh, he made a commitment to support the campaign for Bangladesh to ratify ILO Convention 189 on decent work for domestic workers. On behalf of the current and former staff of the MFA Secretariat, we offer our condolences to his family. We pray that his family and loved ones will find solace in this very painful time,’ said William in condolence message.

Meanwhile, Civil Society for Global Commitments on Migration (CGCM) recalled how he has always been very vocal and straightforward in raising the voices of the unheard migrants in the national and global policy forums.

CGCM secretariat and IID chief executive Syeed Ahamed said that Mr Alam has always been a great supporter of our cause and activism for the migrants’ rights.

‘We pray for his departed soul and hope his bereaved family members find the strength to pass this difficult time,’ he said in message.

Among other individuals, Shirin Lira - Sr. IBP Manager and Gender & Inclusion Adviser, PROKAS of British Council, also expressed her deep condolence at death of Israfil Alam MP and prayed for the eternal peace of the departed soul.

Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmad also expressed his deep condolence at demise of the lawmaker.

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