Bangladeshi workers’ migration to the Maldives increased suddenly in October ignoring the island republic’s unemployment crisis.
Besides, Maldivian employers have the reputation of not paying wages to overseas workers.
Most of nearly 80,000 undocumented workers from Bangladesh, being in deep distress were being forced to hard work by employers, said many victims on return.
Bangladesh High Commission officials in Male confirmed the situation to New Age over phone.
Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training director general Salim Reza said that Bangladeshi workers were migrating to the Maldives with the job visas sent by their relatives already there.
He said that as the visas were authentic, the Maldives authorities allow the workers entry in their country.
According to BMET records at least 371 workers arrived in the Maldives in the first nine days of the current month, up from 200 in the last month, with clearance from BMET.
Besides, many more were being trafficked to the Maldives by recruiting agencies, suspect officials.
A senior official at the Ministry of Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment blamed easy availability of Maldivian visas and scarcity of jobs at home caused the sudden labour migration to the Maldives.
Bangladesh High Commission officials in Male said that many Bangladeshi workers became undocumented in the Maldives after arriving there with visas for three months.
BHC first secretary (labour) TKM Moshfiqur Rahman told New Age that most of the nearly 80,000 Bangladeshi workers became undocumented after arriving in the Maldives.
He said that the Maldives never informed the Bangladesh mission about the undocumented Bangladeshi workers.
Bangladeshi brokers in collaboration with their Maldivian counterparts trap unsuspecting Bangladeshi workers to traffic them to force them to work with no or low wages.
WARBE Development Foundation Syed Saiful Haque demanded that as regulatory authorities BMET should ensure safe and orderly labour migration from Bangladesh.
He said that coordinated action of the ministries of EWOE as well as foreign and home affairs alone could stop worker trafficking to the Maldives and other countries.
Film4Peae Foundation chairman Pervez Siddiqui held the Bangladesh mission in Male for the situation in which ‘our workers are in there.’
Joydal Hossain of Ramnagar of Brahmanpara upazila, Comilla said on return home that he had gone to the Maldives after paying Tk1.5 lakh to brokers.
In the Maldives, he said, he was forced to work on low wages.
Jamal Hossain from the same area said on return home that he worked as a cashier at a grocery in the Maldives after going there by paying Tk1.80 lakh to a broker.
He said that most of the Bangladeshi workers in the Maldives were facing severe hardship.
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