One-year ban imposed on recruitment of unskilled laborers from Bangladesh

Migrant workers pictured at a construction site in Maldives. (File Photo/Sun/Mohamed Afrah)

The Maldivian government has imposed a one-year ban on recruitment of unskilled laborers from Bangladesh.

The announcement was made at a press conference by the labor department of the Economic Ministry this Wednesday.

Speaking at the press conference, Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail said that only 150,000 unskilled laborers can be recruited to Maldives from each foreign country. He said the quota to Bangladesh has already been met given the number of undocumented migrant workers from Bangladesh in Maldives.

“The current situation is that no more laborers can be recruited from Bangladesh. The quota has already been met,” said Fayyaz.

The Economic Ministry, on Tuesday, announced plans to initiate a regularization program for undocumented migrant workers in Maldives.

Fayyaz said he expected the quota for unskilled laborers from Bangladesh to be met once the undocumented migrant workers from the country currently living in Maldives are regularized.

“It is therefore our decision to prohibit recruitment of unskilled laborers from Bangladesh for one year,” said Fayyaz.

He said the Economic Ministry will review its decision after six months if the ban is found to affect the Maldivian economy.

He clarified that the ban will not affect unskilled laborers who have applied for work permits by this Wednesday.