Home Ministry Awaits Investigation Outcome to Decide on Labour Ban Lift

Photo: Shivendu Shukla

The Ministry of Homeland Security and Technology is still deciding when to lift the ban on recruiting unskilled labourers from Bangladesh. The ban was re-imposed last week after several recruitment companies were found to have submitted fraudulent recruitment documents.

The ministry spokesperson, Fathimath Rifaath, confirmed that the ban would remain until the investigation was complete. Currently, regulations allow a maximum of 100,000 unskilled workers from each source country. The ban was initially imposed in September 2019 when the number of Bangladeshi workers exceeded this limit.

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The ban was lifted in December last year when the number of Bangladeshi workers was reported to be 90,624. Home Minister Ali Ihusan stated that the government would reinstate the ban if the number approached the 100,000 threshold.

Illegal migration remains a significant issue in the Maldives. In response, the Home Ministry launched ‘Kurangi’, a special operation targeting illegal migration, and has collected biometric data from over 700 migrants.

During an ‘Ahaa’ public forum session in April, Minister Ihusan pledged to resolve the issue of undocumented migrants within three years. He outlined that phase one of the operation, which includes biometric data collection, is expected to be completed within a year. The next step involves regularizing undocumented migrants based on this data.

Ihusan emphasized that the primary aim is to provide migrants with an opportunity to regularize their status rather than focus on arrests and deportations. However, Ihusan warned those not taking advantage of this opportunity will face deportation.

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