Maldives Halts Bangladeshi Labor Recruitment Amid Illegal Hiring

Photo: Ivan Henao

The Ministry of Home Affairs has officially ceased the recruitment of laborers from Bangladesh following concerns over illegal recruitments in the Maldives.

According to a statement from Home Ministry spokesperson Fatimath Rifaath to The Sun, the decision to halt the import of Bangladeshi workers was implemented approximately a month ago. This move comes in response to the discovery that certain companies were recruiting laborers by submitting falsified documents.

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An investigation into these activities is underway, Rifaath revealed.

Illegal migration has long been a persistent issue in the Maldives, prompting the Home Ministry to launch a special operation named ‘Kurangi’ to address the problem. As part of this initiative, biometric data from over 700 migrants has already been collected.

The ban on the recruitment of laborers from Bangladesh was initially imposed in September 2019 during the former administration but was lifted by the current administration in December of the following year.

During a press conference in December, Home Minister Ali Ihusan disclosed that there were 139,220 active work permits issued to Bangladeshi laborers, with only 39,004 of them reportedly paying the required work permit fees regularly.

As of December, the number of Bangladeshi laborers residing in the Maldives stood at 90,642, which is below the cap of 100,000 provided in the Employment Act for a single source market.

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