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Deported Bangladeshi migrants must find jobs in Bangladesh

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12th-Sep-2020       
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Thousands of Bangladeshi migrant workers are passing their days in deep crisis abroad as they are facing forced repatriation, loss of jobs, limited access to foods and healthcare system amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The government is yet to take pragmatic steps to help the migrants staying in distress at their respective destination countries, said the migrant rights experts.
As per estimates of the government officials, recruiting agencies and migration experts, 20 lakh of migrant workers out of about 2 crore, with documented and undocumented status, have been facing deportation because of the pandemic in the Middle East, Europe and East Asian countries. The migrant experts said if the pandemic situation does not abate by September this year, Bangladesh will fail to send its targeted 4.5 lakh workers into the global job market.
According to media reports on Friday, more than two lakh Bangladeshi migrant workers in war-torn Iraq are in fear that they would become illegal soon due to suspension of visa renewal in that country. They said many of their co-workers have already become illegal as their visas had not been renewed and are being arrested in raids in places like Bagdad, Basra, Karbala and Najaf.   
Migration experts say like Iraq Bangladeshi workers from other oil-rich Middle Eastern countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman may also face deportation due to the economic crisis. Saudi Arabia is the largest job market for Bangladeshi migrants, with at least 20 lakh migrants, and is the highest remittance earner for the country. However, early this year official sources said, at least 50 per cent of Bangladeshi workers in Saudi Arabia may lose their jobs upon their job permits expiring and become undocumented.  
Furthermore, the experts said, it is obvious that remittances will decrease drastically in the coming days as the novel coronavirus has brought economic activities almost to a standstill around the world - including the Middle Eastern countries. Bangladesh's top 15 sources of remittances are: Saudi Arabia, UAE, US, Kuwait, UK, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Italy, Bahrain, Singapore, South Africa, France, South Korea, and Jordan.
Besides, the experts also opined that our skilled workers -- who worked on large projects overseas -- can be used in mega projects of the country, instead of foreign workers. Foreign aided projects create jobs for foreigners when our own people look for jobs outside the country in most humiliating conditions. The humiliation of our workers abroad is national embarrassment. But our government is too happy for their major contribution to saving our plundering economy.
We have Manpower Ministry. They must try to find new markets for jobs. The reality the job market abroad is shrinking. We are going to face a serious problem.

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