Law graduate harnesses power of print in Bangladesh

Md Selim Reza in Qatar in 2013. This photo was taken by Mijan, a Bangladeshi migrant worker, then in irregular migrant status after his passport was withheld by his sponsor for two years.
Md Selim Reza in Qatar in 2013. This photo was taken by Mijan, a Bangladeshi migrant worker, then in irregular migrant status after his passport was withheld by his sponsor for two years.

A Flinders University law graduate from Bangladesh has been using the power of print to push for better labour rights and protection for economic migrants in his home country.

Md Selim Reza, who is currently a postgraduate research student at Flinders, has been writing regular news columns in his native language of Bangla to highlight the causes and different forms of labour exploitation in the world’s eighth most populous nation.

Mr Reza, a researcher in migration, said he believes the critical assessment and research-informed policy recommendations he shares in his columns can make a difference for disadvantaged groups in Bangladesh.

“I believe this kind of writing has the ability to help achieve a positive impact in people’s lives and the broader social environment in Bangladesh,” Mr Reza said.

“Newspaper columns highlighting the causes and forms of labour exploitation can reach broader audiences, providing insights to help policy makers determine better courses of action and achieve policy change.”

Mr Reza, who was inspired to advocate for social justice during his time at Flinders, said he hoped his columns can contribute to the long tradition of fighting for law reform and social justice at Flinders Law School.

“I consider working for the empowerment of disadvantaged groups as a social and moral responsibility,” he said.

“I have received enormous help from everyone at Flinders, particularly my supervisors, Dr Maria Giannacopoulos and Associate Professor Marinella Marmo, to stay motivated.

“Flinders is an excellent place to generate good research ideas, and the Law School’s fantastic academic environment has enabled me to validate and share my opinions in my country’s leading newspapers.

“Through these columns and my research I hope that I can make a difference to the lives of many people who perhaps in the past have not had this kind of support.”

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