Bangladesh urges the Maldives to regularize its undocumented workers

Bangladesh has urged the Maldives to help it register and regularize undocumented Bangladeshis, most of them are workers in the Maldives

Nov 24, 2021
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Bangladesh urges the Maldives to regularize its undocumented workers

Bangladesh has urged the Maldives to help it register and regularize undocumented Bangladeshis, most of them are workers in the Maldives. Over 90,000 Bangladeshis nationals are estimated to be working in the archipelago. Of them, around 20,000 are unregistered or undocumented, officials estimated.  

The request came from Bangladeshi Foreign Minister A.K Abdul Momen during his meeting with Maldivian Vice President Ahmad Naseem, who was on a two-day visit to Bangladesh. Momen said since the majority of the workers in the Maldives are documented Bangladeshis.

Earlier, the Maldives government had decided to repatriate close to 20,000 undocumented Bangladesh workers; Of them, over 8000 have already been deported. Dhaka has long been pressing the Maldivian government for regularizing these workers instead of deporting them. 

The issue has been raised in almost every bilateral exchange between the two countries held in the last year. 

In February this year, when Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdullah Shahid visited the country, both countries had signed two memoranda of understandings, including one on regularizing the undocumented Bangladeshi workers. Another MOU was the exchange of human resources. 

During his recent visit to Dhaka, Vice President Faisal Naseem engaged in discussions regarding boosting people-to-people and government-to-government connections between Maldives and Bangladesh. Both countries also discussed cooperation in different sectors, including shipping, maritime cooperation as well as technical training, reported Raajje news. Naseem also praised the contribution of Bangladeshi workers in the archipelago’s development. 

Recalling the history of a long cooperation between the two countries, he also thanked Bangladesh’s assistance to the Maldives, especially during the time of the pandemic. 

Discussions were also held in enhancing cooperation in the health sector, including boosting the capacity of the sector in the Maldives by providing training by Bangladesh professionals.

(SAM)