Migrant worker return on rise


The return of Bangladeshi workers from different countries has recently been increasing as most of these countries are cracking down on workers without legal documents. Besides, there are two main reasons for the return of workers--- voluntary and forced. Data on forced return is usually collected by national and international statistical offices, border protection and immigration law enforcement agencies.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) collects data on assisted voluntary return and reintegration that it implements worldwide.

Bangladeshi migrant workers are returning in large numbers from Saudi Arabia every year. The Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) Immigration section said, two hundred migrant workers come back everyday mainly on the cause of not being legal. Those sent in the name of free visa were not allowed to work there, and police arrested and sent them back to Bangladesh.

Last year, a survey of the Ministries of Labor and Employment said, the government has announced that 12 sectors will be 'bargained for' to create employment opportunities for citizens in that country. As a result, 1 lakh 20 thousand migrant workers left the country in the last six months.

Brac Migration Programme Head Shariful told Bangladesh Post, “Saudi police arrested me two days ago and did not let me go even after I showed them my ‘Iqama’ (legal permit to live and work in the Kingdom). They beat me up when I asked them why I was being arrested. Shariful told this correspondent that in the last six months, at least 15 thousand migrant workers return home. Brac has provided necessary assistance to the Bangladeshi workers sent back from the Kingdom. “So far, 10,000 to 11,000 Bangladeshi workers have been sent back home this year,” Shariful said.

Shariful said that one Shamim went to Saudi Arabia three months ago after spending Tk 3.5 lakh. He was sent back despite having Iqama.
Dr. Delwar Hossain Professor Department of International Relations (IR) University of Dhaka, told Bangladesh Post, every country is in competition for economic establishment in the present world, every country has independence in the present world.

He said, the Saudi Arabian government is in a crisis period at the moment, especially with oil demands low,and that is the major cause for the return of migrant workers. The country is still dependent on less-skilled and semi-skilled workers. More than 55% of the outbound workers were from these categories, according to the state-run Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET).

BMET Director General (DG) Selim Reza said: "We are now giving particular emphasis on skill development of the migrating people and the demand for our labour force is on the rise abroad." He said, a database of skilled workers has already been initiated and host countries like Maldives, Japan, and others have expressed their eagerness to recruit more people from this database.

Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (BAIRA) Joint Secretary General, Shameem Ahmed Chowdhury Noman, said that the lack of education and skills is forcing Bangladeshi workers to work mostly in lower end jobs. Officials of the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment at the immigration office said, some 120 Bangladeshi workers returned from the oil-rich country on Friday night. On October 3, 130 migrant workers returned home from the Kingdom.