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Migrant workers being cheated

Recruiting agencies' lack of decentralization blamed

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18th-Mar-2018       
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Reza Mahmud :
Increasing number of Bangladeshi migrant workers are being cheated due to lack of decentralization of recruiting agencies across the country, it was alleged.
As a result, many of the migrant workers are being compelled to pay extra amount of money to the recruiting agencies or their agents.
 "A huge number of Bangladeshi migrant workers are being victims of cheating by the dishonest recruiting agencies. It is very much important to decentralize manpower recruiting agencies across the country," said Migration expert and Chairman, Debate for Democracy, Hasan Ahmed Chowdhury Kiron.
He said that the government should take strong measures to protect migrant workers' interest as it is the second largest sector of earning huge foreign currencies.
According to officials of the Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Ministry, a worker needs to pay Tk 1.65 lakh for being recruited for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but the reality is far from it.
In many cases, the migrant workers do not found any jobs at all. Many others get jobs with low wages then they are supposed to get as per the deed signed between the workers and the recruiting agencies.
Each and every worker has to pay around Tk 6 lakh for going to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a worker.
 "I have paid Tk 6 lakh to the agent who was involved in the process of my recruitment in a Saudi Company," said Shamsul Haque from Faridpur, now working in Dammam, KSA. Shamsul Islam accused the agent of cheating him in two ways, number one for taking huge extra money and the number two giving him a very low wages job instead of higher salary the agent promised.
There are many more allegations from the sufferer workers from the Middle East countries and Malaysia.
In last year, a survey report found that around 51 per cent of the migrant workers become victims of agents' frauds, according to the Refugee and Migrant Movements Research Unit (RMRU).  On the other hand, Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) also released a research paper on March 9, 2017 where it mentioned that around 90 per cent of the migrant workers were being cheated.
Migration expert Hasan Ahmed Chowdhury Kiron said the main cause of the increasing number of cheating cases is the lack of recruiting agencies at the district level.
 "If the migrant workers get local persons for recruiting them for work abroad, it will be easy to avoid cheating because the people from own area cannot do cheat for the sake of their business goodwill," he said.
When contacted, Dr. Namita Haldar, Secretary of the Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Ministry, told The New Nation, "42 districts are still legging behind in this sector. Very less numbers of people from those districts are going abroad for long. We are trying to give license to the businessmen of these districts. But we are yet to get response from the businessmen there."
She mentioned the whole northern region, three hill districts and some districts from Khulna division as the legging behind areas in respect of manpower export.
The Secretary said the main problem for reluctance of taking license is the Tk 25 lakh as security money. The government has no plan to reduce the sum of money in this regard, she said.

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