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Maldives bans Bangladeshi workers

/ 06:32 PM September 22, 2019

DHAKA — The Maldives has imposed a year-long ban on recruiting Bangladeshi workers as it says the quota for Bangladeshi workers was already reached.

The authorities imposed the ban on Wednesday and announced a program to regularise undocumented foreign workers. Migrant workers  from Bangladesh would be able to register at an office set up in Male,  said Ahmed Fayyaz, minister of economics in Maldives.

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The country has fixed a quota of 150,000 migrant workers for a country and Bangladesh has already reached the limit, he said.

The restriction, however, will not be applicable to skilled workers.

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“We decided to impose a limit for each country. In determining this  limit, we refer to the unskilled labor category and due to the current  situation, we are unable to allow any more Bangladeshi labourers into  the country at the moment,” said Fayyaz.

Contacted, ATM Moshfiqur Rahman, first secretary (labour) of  Bangladesh Embassy in Maldives, told The Daily Star over phone that the  authorities of Maldives had not informed them anything about the ban.

Asked about the exceeding of 150,000 quota of Bangladeshi workers,  he said it was very unlikely. The number of Bangladeshis could be hardly  more than a lakh.

“However, we have been requesting the Maldives authorities to  regularise some 40,000 undocumented Bangladeshis. We haven’t heard  anything from their part until now,” he said.

Moshfiqur added that a migrant could become undocumented in Maldives  if he or she changed job and if their work permit was expired.

There are also cases of Bangladeshi migrant workers getting hired  but not paid, he said, adding in those cases workers change their job  and become undocumented. The taskforce formed by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih decided to  impose the temporary ban. The rules may be reviewed if this decision  impacts the economy negatively in the next six months, he added.

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TAGS: Bangladesh, Labor, Maldives, South Asia
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