Bangladeshis get no jobs in Iraq, return empty-handed

Md Owasim Uddin Bhuyan | Published: 00:22, Jul 27,2019


Bangladeshi workers in Iraq were not getting jobs in Iraq even after migrating to the country through legal channels and with employment visas, said migrants on their return.

They paid migration cost up to Tk five lakh to the local recruiting agencies and their brokers for a job in Iraq but in reality there was no job in the war ravaged country, they said.

Awaj Foundation, grassroots labour rights NGO in Bangladesh, has recently helped repatriating some Bangladeshi migrant workers from Iraq.

Its migration director Anisur Rahman Khan told New Age on Friday that brokers were sending Bangladeshi migrants to Iraq by alluring good jobs there.

‘In reality, our workers are not getting jobs in Iraq even after going there through legal channels and they are forced to lead miserable condition,’ he said.

Referring to some returnee migrants, he said that Bangladeshi migrants were actually trafficked in the name of labor migration in Iraq.

Tanvir Hossain, in-charge of Wage Earners’ Welfare Board desk at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport told New Age that said that they often found Bangladeshi workers returning from Iraq empty-handed.

According to the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training, more than 8,000 workers from Bangladesh migrated to Iraq with jobs from January to June this year.

Over 19,500 Bangladeshis were sent to Iraq in 2018, BMET record show.

According to Awaj Foundation, Kabir Hossain, 30, of Sakhipur in Tangail and Salim Miah,29, of Mirzapur in Tangail were trafficked to Iraq through Dubai, UAE in the name of labor migration.

Recruitment agency and their middleman took Tk 4,00,000 from each person and in September 2018, they were sent to Basra, Iraq.

But they found neither employer nor work and lived in inhuman condition, said Awaj Foundation.

After 20 unemployed days, Iraqi middleman employed them in a market without any valid documents.

After 40 days of work, Iraqi police arrested them as undocumented workers and sent them jail somewhere in Basra, Iraq.

The victims’ families were fully in dark without having passport photo copy.

Babul Ahmed, a social worker and volunteer of Awaj Foundation sent victims’ families to its office in Dhaka and the organisation on January 6, 2019, launched an online complaint.

The NGO submitted to the complaints to the office of Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training and continued follow up.

Due to BMET and Awaj’s strong stand, middleman and recruitment agency has compelled to bring them back and refund their paid migration cost on 18 July, 2019.

Awaj Foundation has received more complain against same person and agencies from the same area about such deception. More cheated victims were still in Iraq jail, said cheated returnees.  

Want stories like this in your inbox?

Sign up to exclusive daily email