The Edition


Maldives places temporary ban on new Bangladeshi labour recruits

Shahudha Mohamed
18 September 2019, MVT 15:58
Expatriate workers at a construction site. The government announced a one-year ban on bringing Bangladesh workers to Maldives. PHOTO: NISHAN ALI/ MIHAARU
Shahudha Mohamed
18 September 2019, MVT 15:58

The state, on Wednesday, announced the ban of bringing Bangladeshi labourers to Maldives for a period of one year, starting from September 18.

Speaking at a press conference held to brief the public on the state's efforts to implement solutions for the increasing number of undocumented immigrants residing illegally in the country, Minister of Economics Ahmed Fayyaz Ismail confirmed that a quota of 150,000 individuals was fixed for immigrants from each country.

However, Bangladeshi immigrants already exceed this quota. Since this is the case, the minister stated that, for the specified duration, immigrant workers can only be brought from countries other than Bangladesh.

The restriction, however, do not apply to professional workers.

"We decided to impose a limit for each country. In determining this limit, we refer to the unskilled labour category and due to the current situation, we are unable to allow any more Bangladeshi labourers into the country at the moment", said Minister Fayyaz.

Referring to the sudden announcement, Fayyaz stated that those who had requested for the quota beforehand will still be granted the chance to bring in workers.

Noting that the decision was made by the task force established on Tuesday by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, to find a solution for undocumented immigrant workers in the country, Minister Fayyaz iterated that the regulation would be reviewed if the decision is found to negatively impact the economy over the upcoming six months.

Fayyaz is also the Chairman of the aforementioned task force.

Maldives Immigration revealed that 63,000 immigrants out of the 144,607 that entered the country under work visas are currently residing illegally. Just last week, two Bangladeshis were deported over accusations of illegal recruitment.