Some 130 more Bangladeshi migrant workers returned home from Saudi Arabia on Thursday night in the face of a crackdown on undocumented workers there.
A flight of Saudi Airlines carrying the workers landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport around 11:20pm, said Shariful Hasan, head of Brac Migration Programme.
With them, around 11,000 to 12,000 Bangladeshi workers have so far been sent back home by the Saudi authorities this year alone, the Brac official said.
Tanvir Hossain, assistant director at the Bureau of Manpower, Training and Employment (BMET), also confirmed the return.
Following their arrival, a support team combined of government officials at the Prabashi Kalyan Desk and officials of Brac Migration Programme arranged their food and assisted them at the immigration office, Tanvir added.
The Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment are working to reintegrate the returned workers to the workforce so that they can lead a normal life, the BMET official also said.
Quoting several migrant workers, Brac Migration Programme head Shariful said Bangladeshi workers have been facing crackdown in Saudi Arabia over the past several days.
Even those who have the Iqama (valid work permit) in that country were also detained and sent to a deportation camp, Shariful said, adding that
Their employers did not take any effective measures even after being informed of their detention, he added.
Local police detained several workers while they were returning home from work, he further said, quoting the workers.
Besides, many undocumented migrant workers who stayed in the oil-rich country for several years were detained and sent back home, he added.
Asked about the allegations, BMET official Tanvir said the labour wing of Bangladesh mission in Saudi Arabia was looking after the welfare of Bangladeshi migrant workers there.
On September 15, some 175 migrant workers returned home in a flight from Saudi Arabia.
Two days later, another 160 Bangladeshi workers returned home from the Middle Eastern country.
Saudi Arabia is home to around 11 lakh Bangladeshis, according to an unofficial estimate.