Hiring from Bangladesh: Various job-seekers land in big trouble amid COVID-19

11 May 2020 11:12 AM
The fate around 150,000 employees who are along the way of going abroad with jobs has fallen uncertain as the host countries cannot receive them shortly as a result of the prolonged coronavirus pandemic, insiders have said.

There is no probability that the countries will have the ability to start out recruitment within a year.

Moreover, different types of changes like screening system could be strengthened through the post COVID-19 period simply by the work destination countries.

So, there is no very good news for the workers who exactly are in the offing of going abroad currently, they said.

Shameem Ahmed Chowdhury Noman, secretary basic of Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Firms (BAIRA), said the number of visas that were under process will be more than 100,000. The association has already enlisted 80,000 such visas.

A lot of the recruiting companies even bought air tickets for the workers even though many other folks completed medical and emigration clearance etc.

For these causes, a large amount of cash has been involved with this system.

However, talking to the FE, several personnel explained their visas will expire within per month. So, they come to mind about their future.

They said all of them paid Tk 350,000 to 600,000 as migration charges to go to their job vacation spot countries.

Also, they are not getting assurance that they will get cash back from the agents, if indeed they neglect to send them abroad.

In this situation, they are now frustrated because they have managed migration cost through borrowing from lenders and reselling or mortgaging lands.

Arman Hosain (25), among the personnel, said his flight was first scheduled in the center of March previous. But he failed to head out as the host country imposed travel ban.

Arman gave Tk 350,000 to a good recruiting agency to go to Saudi Arabia. Now he's worried about his air travel as the agency said they could do nothing at all until or unless the embassy starts its function.

He borrowed the amount of money from a good village money lender in 48 % interest yearly.

He cannot pay monthly interest to the lender as he's now empty handed, he said and added that he had a small business in the administrative centre. After the lockdown started, his organization was closed.

"My family is currently passing through hardship," he said, adding that because they have a good lower middle class impression in the village they cannot even stand for relief on the street.

But now their condition is indeed bad they are forced to take meals support from neighbourers.

Another worker, Md Jashim, who paid Tk 500,000 to a recruiter to visit Saudi Arabia, is also facing same problems.

"I do not know how may i pay my mortgage as I collected the amount of money from different people. If I fail to go abroad, it'll be tricky for me to remain at village," he explained.

Shakirul Islam, chairman of Ovibashi Karmi Unnayan Program (OKUP), said also, they are buying calls through hotline number from the workers.

OKUP, a grassroots migrant rights organisation, has up to now received 14 such calls where personnel expressed their worries more than their migration, he said.

Mr Islam said the federal government should chalk out a comprehensive intend to extend support to the personnel.

If the workers neglect to go abroad or don't get their funds back, it'll bring an adverse impact on their families and society, he observed.

Alternatively, BAIRA secretary general Mr Noman explained of the full total visas, 80 % attended from Saudi Arabia while 20 per cent from different countries like Oman, UAE, Jordan, Lebanon, Singapore etc.

Almost all the countries are actually struggling with the coronavirus pendamic. Due to monetary setback, the countries may chop jobs for foreign employees as local people will face employment crises.

So, it is very uncertain when and the way the recruitment process will end up being started by these countries, he said.

If the agencies fail to send the staff, they will face a great trouble as workers will say their migration costs. And the employees have rights to obtain cash back, he said.

Hence, they have formally put a demand that the government introduce a fund to solve today's crisis, he added.

Over 10 million Bangladeshi workers are staying in different countries currently, recruiters have said.