Gov’t to Collect Migrant Worker Biometric Data

The government is initiating a nationwide effort to collect photos and fingerprints of all migrant workers residing in the Maldives, Minister of Homeland Security and Technology Ali Ihusaan has said.

The initiative is set to commence on May 2, starting in Himmafushi, Kaafu Atoll, before expanding nationwide. Ihusaan said that it is aimed at documenting the number of foreign workers living in the Maldives within a year.

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Ihusaan revealed the initiative after being queried on the issue of undocumented migrant workers at a Q&A forum yesterday. He claimed that the government would solve this issue within a 3-year timeframe,

Following the collection of fingerprints, they will be cross-referenced with existing work permit records to establish the legal status of each individual. Minister Ihusaan acknowledged the complexity of transferring custody of foreigners and pledged to streamline procedures in this regard.

Moreover, the Minister announced that undocumented migrant workers would be allowed to rectify their status by entering the system. However, failure to avail of this opportunity would result in deportation, with individuals lacking proper identification documents being repatriated in collaboration with relevant embassies.

The government is also actively enhancing the procedures of hiring and monitoring migrant workers, Ihusaan said.

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