Hassan is one of the 15 winners selected from the Call for Stories at the “Youth at the Heart of the 2030 Agenda: Case4Space,” a three-day event held in Bangkok, Thailand. The conference gathered several hundred young people from around the Asia-Pacific region to discuss their roles, as stakeholders, in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
A 17-year old Singaporean-Bangladeshi, Hassan was born and raised in the booming city-state of Singapore.
In her submission to Case4Space’s call for stories, Hassan focused on the plight of the migrant community in Singapore and how it closely relates to the eighth SDG which aims to promote “inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all.”
According to Hassan, the migrant community in Singapore, which provides the labour for the country’s economic and infrastructure development, is often marginalised and deprived of their fundamental rights.
Being born to a migrant family, her background and upbringing gave rise to her interest and passion for the issues and concerns of the migrant community.
“For example, in Singapore, ‘Bengali’ has been associated with bad things. I have experienced these instances of racism that does plague the Singaporean society. The word has been synonymous to dirty or with labour,” Hassan shared.
Almost 40 per cent of population of 5.5 million in Singapore are immigrants — according to Hassan, most of them are vulnerable to “exploitation, lack of access to medical proper care, poor living conditions, and discrimination.”
Not only advocating for them but also with them, Hassan, along with other young community advocates in Singapore, raises awareness among youth leaders on the issues faced by the migrant community. They also hold English language workshops for migrants and work with a local soup kitchen to provide food for those who are injured and incapable of working.
“We also work with migrant workers themselves because language is of utmost importance [and] because we realise that language is the way you integrate yourself into the society,” Hassan added.
(Copyright: UNESCO/Raisa Serafica — this content was first published as part of the Youth Newsroom of the Regional Roundtable “Youth at the Heart of the Agenda 2030: The Case for Space” here: http://www.case4space.org/newsroom)