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28th-Jul-2019

Woes of Bangladeshi migrants in foreign lands

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BANGLADESHI workers are passing days in a miserable condition for not getting jobs in Iraq even after migrating to the country through legal channels along with employment visas. They paid up to Tk five lakh to the local recruiting agencies for a job in Iraq but in reality there was no job in the war ravaged country.  A non-government organisation Awaj Foundation has recently helped repatriating some Bangladeshi migrant workers from Iraq, a local newspaper reported on Saturday. Some returnees alleged that Bangladeshi migrants were actually trafficked in the name of labour migration in Iraq. According to the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training, more than 8,000 workers from Bangladesh migrated to Iraq with jobs from January to June this year. Besides, over 19,500 Bangladeshis were sent to Iraq in 2018.
The report said one Kabir Hossain, 30, of Sakhipur in Tangail and Salim Miah,29, of Mirzapur in Tangail were trafficked to Basra of Iraq through Dubai in September 2018. Each of them spent Taka 4 lakh for it.  But they found neither employer nor any work, and forced to live in an inhuman condition. After 20 unemployed days, Iraqi middleman employed them in a market without any valid documents. But after 40 days of work, Iraqi police arrested them as undocumented workers and sent them to jail. The victims' families were in dark without having passport photo copies.
We think, the incident of Iraq is not an isolated one. There are many recruiting agencies in Bangladesh whose main work is to make quick money by giving false hope to the poor people in the name of sending them abroad with lucrative jobs. Several thousand Bangladeshis are now passing through a dreadful situation in different countries across Middle East and Europe who have been sent there by the dishonest recruiting agents. A large number of Bangladeshis are also languishing in foreign jails for not having any legal job or obtaining valid document. Though it's an old practice, the law enforcement agencies never could able to stop this.
But it's a big question -why a large number of youths are frequently showing their interest for migrating to foreign countries with a desire to change their fate? The authorities concerned must pay attention to the serious issue without wasting any time.