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New migrant policy in pipeline

Proposed rules aim to curb trafficking, cut out middlemen reporter, Dhaka

May 18, 2012

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Bangladesh and Malaysia are looking at drawing up new rules regarding the recruitment of Bangladeshi migrant workers that they hope will curtail human trafficking activities. “Malaysia is very concerned about human trafficking,” Bangladesh Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain said after returning from talks with several Malaysian ministers this week in Putrajaya. Malaysia is set to resume recruiting foreign workers as it completes a program, which began in August last year, to manage the status of up to 2 million illegal migrant workers, according to reports. Malaysia froze recruitment of foreign workers in early 2009 as problems resulting from the influx of illegal immigrants threatened to spiral out of control. It was thought that up to 400,000 Bangladeshi migrant workers were in Malaysia at the time. Mosharraf Hossain said Malaysia now wants a totally transparent process. “The Malaysia home minister [Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein] said it is the brokers, both in Bangladesh and Malaysia, who are creating the problems,” he said. Mosharraf Hossain said he has proposed Bangladesh compile an online database of overseas job seekers so that Malaysian firms under government supervision can recruit from it. “Those registering would be recruited first and have guaranteed work. Thus, the middlemen can be eliminated,” he said. The minister said a Malaysian delegation will visit Bangladesh soon to learn more about the country’s existing recruitment schemes. Later, the Malaysian cabinet will scrutinize and finalize recruitment policy. Related reports: Migrant workers need more support

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