Government to seek lists from countries for return of migrants

Diplomatic Correspondent | Published: 01:38, Apr 08,2020


The government plans to request the countries willing to send back Bangladeshi expatriates to make a list of potential returnees and to handover the list to the Bangladesh authorities so that they can assess the reasons for sending the workers back to their native country.

‘We will seek the list to verify whether they are genuine Bangladesh citizens,’ a senior Bangladeshi diplomat said, adding that Bangladesh will not accept the citizens of other countries, for examples the Rohingyas.

The government will also engage with the foreign governments to take steps for regularising the undocumented and irregular workers in next opportunities, another official said.

Many genuine Bangladesh passport holders have become ‘irregular workers’ over the years after expiry of their work permits abroad, he added.

Foreign minister AK Abdul Momen said after an inter-ministerial meeting on expatriate workers on Sunday that several foreign embassies were pressurising for taking back the undocumented Bangladeshi workers.

The minister, however, did not mention the name of the countries.

Several thousand Bangladeshi workers have become ‘irregular’ in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and the Maldives and in European countries.

The government has already established a mechanism with the European Union for bringing back people, who have become ‘irregular’ in the EU member countries, under a standard operating procedure, the government officials said, adding that the mechanism was working well.

‘Some people, who were in Saudi Arabia for umrah, have become stranded,’ Bangladeshi ambassador to KSA Golam Moshi told New Age over phone on Tuesday, adding that, ‘some undocumented workers await deportation.’

There was, however, no pressure from the Saudi government for sending them back overnight, he said.

Bangladesh ambassador-designate to Bahrain Nazrul Islam told New Age on Tuesday that the Bahrain government had announced that the foreign workers would get opportunity to regularise themselves by December.

Several thousand Bangladeshi expatriates will avail the opportunity, he said.

Want stories like this in your inbox?

Sign up to exclusive daily email