Over 250,000 migrant workers, demand continues to rise

File photo of a group of migrant workers at the Republic Square. (File Photo/Sun/Mohamed Afrah)

Maldives currently has a migrant working population of over 250,000 and the demand for migrant workers continues to rise, says Economic Development Minister Fayyaz Ismail.

Speaking during a press conference by Economic Development Ministry at the President’s Office this Sunday, Minister Fayyaz said the management of migrant workers in Maldives was in dire straits, and that the system was marred by corruption.

“The estimated migrant population of Maldives is above 250,000 workers. This includes both legal and illegal migrants,” said Fayyaz.

Fayyaz said the Maldivian working population alone will not be able to keep up with the demand for labor given the fast pace of economic development currently being experienced in the country.

He said that the increase in demand for labor means the economy will need more migrant workers.

Fayyaz said the administration was working on initiating a program to stop all illegal activities involving migrant workers.

“We don’t have the resources we need. We don’t have the manpower to do this. So we have been unable to effectively provide this service yet,” he said.

Fayyaz said the administration planned on redrafting regulations to ease the quota application process for migrant workers. He said the new regulations will require an inspection with the seal of the island council to where workers will be dispatched for verification prior to quota application.

“From then on, it will be easier for us. We are hoping to be able to be able to process quota applications within maximum seven days given all the paperwork are in order,” he said.