BAIRA SG calls for opening coordination cell for stranded migrants

Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (BAIRA) secretary general Shameem Ahmed Chowdhury Noman has said that a coordination cell should be opened immediately to solve the crisis of the standard migrant workers in the country.

In an exclusive interview with migrationnewsbd.com, he said the stranded migrant workers would not have to go from one place to another for tickets and visa renewal if the government had taken some measures.

Thousands of Bangladeshi migrants have recently taken to the streets as the validity of their iqamas (residence permits) became expired  on September 30 and they required exit and re-entry visas for Saudi Arabia. In July, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia extended the deadline of expired iqamas and visas in the wake of novel coronavirus outbreak till 30 September.

Noman Chowdhury said a coordination cell has to be formed involving the representatives of the expatriates’ welfare and overseas employment ministry, the foreign ministry, the home ministry, the health ministry and BAIRA.  

Separate desks have to be established with dedicated officers who have personal connection with different countries, he said.

BAIRA leader said, “If we had made a data bank with detail information of stranded migrants including the expiry date of visas and their contact numbers during the COVID-19 period, they would have been informed online and they would not have needed to throng for tickets.”

Noman Chowdhury said the migrants have to stay in good health to go to their workplace.

He also said the Middle East countries including Saudi Arabia are very strict as they don’t want coronavirus hit their countries second time. “So we have to maintain health rules”.

Noman suggested for continuing diplomatic activities for easing procedures of visa renewals in the destination countries.

A booth needs to be opened at the home ministry so that time is not wasted for police clearance, the BAIRA leader said adding the stranded migrants should keep in mind that the destination countries will gradually ease restrictions for migrants.

Noman Chowdhury said the country’s economic development and prosperity widely depends on the foreign remittance. So the government should give priority in resolving the issues of the stranded migrants.

The country received over $18 billion in remittance in 2019.

Over 1.2 crore Bangladeshi workers have migrated to 170 countries since 1976, according to Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training.

Migrationnewsbd.com/Ob

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