Shakirul Islam is a migrant activist and a researcher. Being a member of a migrant family, Shakirul felt to work upright the rights and welfare of migrant workers and their families. He and a group of returnee migrants took the initiative to organise returnee Bangladeshi migrants in 2004. The initiative was so successful that he formed a platform for returnee migrant workers by the name of the Ovibashi Karmi Unnayan Program (OKUP). At present Shakirul Islam is the Chair of OKUP, which works to protect and promote migrant worker rights, survivors of labour trafficking through extending support and services, raising collective voices and migrants’ perspectives in the migration discourse, and carry out evidence-based advocacy.
Having studied social welfare and research and acquired expertise in participatory action research (PAR), Shakirul has conducted around 20 social research projects on the issues of labour migration, labour trafficking, migrants’ health, protection and rights issues over the last decade, all aimed at gaining migrants’ perspectives and undertaking evidence-based advocacy. He also conducted research on the link between climate change and migration through an action research project.