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High cost, main bariar for safe migration - World Migration
May 24, 2024, 6:45 am

High cost, main bariar for safe migration

NSN, Special Reporter of WM
  • Update Time : Sunday, June 18, 2023,
  • 72 Time View


Bangladesh is holding a stronger position with the help of it’s remittance sector. And to send this remittance, its fighters of this sector have to travel to the foreign countries. But most of the countries where our workers are going have to pay several times more than the amount set by the government. For example, in Saudi Arabia, even if the government has fixed Tk 1 lakh 60 thousands, the workers have to count Tk 4 to 4 and a half lakh. In the same way, against the 78 thousand 990 Taka set for Malaysia, the workers have to multiply from 4 and a half to 5 lakh Taka. And in Singapore, even though the government has fixed the immigration cost of around Tk 2 lakh, workers are being sent there with Tk 8, 10 or even 12 lakhs.

Expatriate Welfare and Foreign Employment Minister Imran Ahmed has always claimed that the expenditure determined by the government is done by rational calculation.

But till now, the workers have to multiply several times more money!

Among those who have been working with the migrant sector for a long time and who have positive thoughts about this sector, a former secretary of the ministry Dr. Namita Halder. In 2018, while in charge of the ministry, she said in an seminar of stakeholders in CIRDAP Auditorium of the capital, “the roots of migration costs are in the recruiting country. Due to visa trading or visa buying and selling there, the first stage of additional migration expenses of these workers is created in the destination country itself.”

Recently, in a seminar organized by Better Bangladesh Forum, the additional secretary of the Ministry of Expatriate Welfare and Foreign Employment, Ahmed Monirul Salehin spoke about the cost of migration. He expressed a lot of anger and said, “although there are so many seminars on migrant workers, there is not much discussion about additional costs or additional migrane costs.”

At the same time, Ahmed Monirul Salehin said, “visa trading is done in Saudi Arabia and that is why workers have to pay more.”

In thet same event, the ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Bangladesh Essa Yousef Essa Alduhailan spoke before the secretary.

He said, “there is no such thing as free visa in the country. Originally, the migrant workers lost everything after going to that country at the instigation of brokers in this country.”

He also added that the worker does not have to pay any money to get an appointment in any company in Saudi Arabia. They do not support recruitment agencies.

In addition, an observation by the Expatriate Information Center, a voluntary organization working with expatriate workers, revealed some more information on migration costs.

From the embassy to the embassy’s attestation procedures to the last BMET immigration clearance, several steps are required to pay undeclared or unwritten costs to issue each visa. The amount of this money ranges from 20 to 50 thousand taka. Country-by-country undeclared fees are payable in favor of each visa.

Also, in some labor markets such as Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, Iraq, Hong Kong, recruiting agency owners have to pay extra money for the service charge of the so-called syndicate. On top of that, sub-agents or middlemen who collect workers and bring them to recruiting agencies at the field level also make a profit of 50 to 1 lakh taka depending on the country. And the workers have to pay several times more than the amount set by the government of Bangladesh.

A journalist in the migration sector & the founder of Prabash TothoKendro, Meraj Hossain Gazi said that all the relevant departments of the government know this information. But, even after knowing everything, there is no remedy for some invisible reason or some impenetrable reason. And, even if various procedures are conducted, the workers are not getting any benefit from them. At the same time, the Ministry took initiative a couple of years ago for the registration of the sub-agents or brokers at the field level, but it failed at the beginning and was buried in the abyss of time. And due to the absence of these procedural changes, there is a big question about whether the reduction of migration costs or the safe employment of workers at the workplace will be implemented at all.

Mr. Gazi also said that it is possible to ensure safe labor migration of workers only if the laws and policies formulated by the ministry are strictly implemented.

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