16,100 Bangladeshi workers in Maldives to be regularised | The Daily Star
11:00 PM, November 01, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:00 PM, November 01, 2009

16,100 Bangladeshi workers in Maldives to be regularised

The Maldives government is going to permit 16,100 undocumented Bangladeshi workers to stay and work there, Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said on his return from the country yesterday.
“Maldives authorities assured us that they would not deport any Bangladeshi workers. Rather, the country will try to employ them from January next,” the minister told journalists at his office.
Earlier, the Maldives deported several hundred irregular workers after the global recession hit its economy. Thinking another 16,100 workers could face the same fate, the Bangladesh mission initiated a dialogue with Maldives authorities that was followed up by a weeklong visit by a three-member delegation led by expatriates' welfare minister.
Bringing an end to the problems of irregular workers was the target of the visit.
Hossain met Maldives President Mohammad Nasheed, Vice President Mohammad Waheed and its home, labour and foreign ministers during the visit.
There are over 30,000 Bangladeshi workers in the Maldives, mostly in tourism and construction sectors.
The Maldives, however, requested Bangladesh to send manpower through work visas, not on tourist visas.
Khurshed Alam Chowdhury, director general of Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training, who accompanied the minister during the visit, said Bangladesh proposed developing an online database to check the authenticity of visa allotment.

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