Unabated licensing behind mass deportation: Expert

Migrant experts believe that the issuing of licenses to agencies in an unmonitored fashion, lack of skilled migrating workers with qualifications, and the lack of jobs is forcing migrants workforce to be deported from Saudi Arabia.

Migration Expert Asif Munir told Bangladesh Post, “It is said that only foreigners are responsible for the deportation of migrant workers. Unmonitored licensing of agencies, giving out illegal visas and the lack of transparency while sending the workforce through maintaining proper Akamah (work permit) are the main reasons of migrant deportation. Often times the situation presents that the legality of a migrant worker comes into question when the visa time limit ends. As a result, the migrant workers face crisis of work and are forced to return.”

“These agencies send manpower overlooking the physical condition of these workers since they are business oriented. Many workers cannot adjust to the situations in Middle East after going there,” he added.

According to sources from the Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment, in the span of only four years the government has given license to 621 recruiting agencies. 

However, Imran Ahmed, Minister for Overseas Welfare and Foreign Employment, says that since the filing of the complaint there are actions being taken against the recruiting agencies. “I will take actions if any news of irregularities about sending workers abroad are found. If needed licenses will also be cancelled,” he said. 

Expatriates’ welfare and employment secretary Selim Reza says that already a number of recruiting agencies have been fines after receiving the complaint. 

Shariful Hasan, head of BRAC Migration Program, told Bangladesh Post that there are many reasons behind the returning of migrants. He added that many people go abroad spending eight to ten lakh taka and in order make that sum back they work in multiple companies, this is also a reason behind deportation. 

On the other hand, it is mentionable that in November, there is a possible schedule for a meeting of Saudi-Bangladesh Joint Technical Committee. Detailed discussions will be held at that meeting regarding the migrant Bangladeshi workers staying in Saudi Arabia and other issues.