International Conference on Labour and Sustainable Development in Asia: Opportunities, Challenges, and Way Forward
Event held on June 1-3, 2023 at IIPS, Mumbai, India
Mumbai: On 3rd June, the South Asia Centre for Labour Mobility and Migrants (SALAM) at the International Institute for Population Science (IIPS) in Mumbai along with three UN agencies and partner organizations from six countries, namely Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the USA, and the Netherland concluded its first International Conference on "Labour and Sustainable Development in Asia: Opportunities, Challenges, and Way Forward" concluded successfully. The three UN agencies (ILO, IOM, and UN Women) and the State Bank of India provided financial support to conduct this conference without any hurdles. Over 100 researchers from various states of India and countries worldwide presented their papers efficaciously during these three days conference. Presenters also got feedback from assigned discussants to make their research more effective for the migrant community. The plenary sessions addressed labour migration in South Asia: issues and challenges; gender dimension of labour migration in South Asia, and voices from the filed; registration of informal migrant labourers on eShram portal-its awareness, implementation and effectiveness. Some of the participants, like Josef Neubauer (Germany), Samiksha Neupane (Nepal), Soumya Chauhan (India), and Sumon Sheikh (Bangladesh), shared their experiences and liked academic rigor of the conference that brought several scholars, academicians, and government representative who are the voices of thousands of migrants. One participant mentioned that "the conference offered the cream of knowledge by experts under one roof and appreciated the hospitality of the host institution. Prof. Bino Paul, Deputy Director/Pro-Vice Chancellor, TISS, Mumbai, gave a valedictory address and emphasized on sustainable migration. Prof. Irudaya Rajan, director of IIMAD, Trivandrum, stressed three aspectss to move forward with SALAM Centre. Firstly, expand the Centre to reach other countries: Afghanistan, Maldives, and Bhutan. Also, the Centre should get the support of other institutions working on similar themes in India. Secondly, for sustainability, SALAM Center must tie-up with other international organizations like UNDP, World Bank, UNICEF, UNHR, and EU. Thirdly, Path-way to conduct national level migration survey in each South Asian Country. At the valedictory session Prof. C.R. Abrar, Director, Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU), Bangladesh, and Prof. V.S. Kulkarni, University of Arkansas, also appreciated all posters and announced the name of four best posters award to Rahul Kumar Jha, I V Prasad, Lopamudra Ray Saraswati, and Arish Qamar. The book "Researching Internal Migration," co-authored by Prof. Rajan and Prof. Bhagat, was also released at the valedictory session. The conference could not be succeeded without the efforts of the organization team (local and international), administrative support team, and volunteers, who worked day and night to make this conference possible and successful.