KSA may consider reopening | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 28, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 28, 2013

Labour Market for Bangladesh

KSA may consider reopening

Saudi Arabia may consider reopening its labour market to Bangladeshi workers after a discussion with the government in March, Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Secretary Dr Zafar Ahmed Khan said yesterday.
“As a delegation of the Saudi Arabia government is scheduled to visit Bangladesh next month, we hope there will be an effective discussion on reopening of the market and working out other labour related issues,” he said.
Saudi Arabia has unofficially stopped recruiting Bangladeshi workers since 2006, bringing allegations of malpractices in the recruitment process.
Zafar Ahmed also said the government was trying to reduce the cost of migration.
He made these remarks at the launching ceremony of the project, "Strengthening Labour migration management capacity in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Nepal and the Philippines for replication in other Colombo Process member States", organised by International Organisation for Migration (IOM) at the European Commission office in the capital.
Later, at a press conference on "Kafala System in GCC Countries", the secretary said the government would take reasonable steps to solve the problems with Kafala system, under which migrant workers are closely monitored.
Refugee and Migratory Movement Research Unit (RMMRU), which held the conference at the capital's Hotel Purbani International, says huge numbers of Bangladeshi workers in the Gulf countries are being deprived of basic rights due to some unfavourable provisions of Kafala system, which needs reformation.
As an individual employer regulates the system, the workers cannot enjoy their freedom, said Dr Tasneem Siddiqui, chairperson of RMMRU. The government should raise the issue of reforming the system, she added. Dr Siddiqui also said the Gulf countries were now considering reforming the system as it was widely criticised by international organisations.

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