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930 workers deported from Saudi Arabia in a week
Deshsangbad, Dhaka
Published : Saturday, 9 November, 2019 at 2:31 PM, Update: 09.11.2019 2:38:28 PM

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has deported another 113 Bangladeshi workers, raising the number of returnees from the KSA in the first week of November to a staggering 930.

A Saudi Airlines flight carrying the migrant workers landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) in Dhaka around 11:20pm on Thursday, confirmed the expatriate welfare desk at the airport.

With the latest expulsion, the number of total deportees exceeded 21,000, according to the government's Expatriate Welfare Desk.

At least 20,692 Bangladeshi workers returned from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia between January 1 and October 30, 2019.

BRAC migration program, in association with the Expatriate Welfare Desk, has offered immediate assistance like; food, water, relevant support services and helped deportees return home safely.

An estimated 534 out of the 930 deportees have been met with the BRAC assistance and support.

Most of the returnees, according to BRAC Migration Program, went to Saudi Arabia, by selling their properties including lands or other valuable possessions, after being lured with better opportunities.

Kamal Hossain, a labour migrant from Kushtia who was recently being deported, said he had flown to Saudi Arabia nearly one and a half years ago spending Tk700,000.

"I was basically employed at a shop. However, until recently, I was detained by local police while on my way from work to home," he recalled.

"Unfortunately when I called my employer, he refused to help me, and eventually I was deported,” Kamal concluded.  

A large number of returnees from Saudi Arabia,  spotted in their official uniform, said they had no choice, but to be deported empty-handed, since they were detained while returning home from respective workplaces.  

Three of the returnees identifying themselves as Babul, Zahir and Rezaul, who had been working in a factory, said they were deported despite having Iqama [legal work permit for foreign nationals] in Saudi Arabia.

Most of the overseas migrant workers from Bangladesh predominantly belong to less-skilled category that leaves them in a vulnerable position in terms of both net remittance  earnings and their bargaining power with employers.

One of the reasons for the high migration cost is the informal migration procedures  which are traditionally  managed and organized by brokers who work for private recruiting agencies.

A large number of labor migrants become victims of unethical practices of recruiting agencies, operating in collaboration with the so-called brokers, and are forced to pay an excessively high price for migration-related procedures.

As a result, Bangladeshis face some of the highest migration costs in the world.


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