Bangladeshi workers seeking jobs abroad are still being cheated by dishonest manpower agents and brokers though a stringent law has been in force since 2013 against cheating of overseas jobseekers.
Numerous incidents had happened earlier in which fraudsters sent people abroad promising jobs but the workers found the pledges false. In some cases, job-seekers could not even fly abroad after paying all the money as per agreement with the agents and brokers.
To combat fraudulence in manpower export, the Bangladesh government in 2013 enacted the ‘Overseas Employment and Migrants Act’, under which a worker can lodge criminal cases against recruiting, visa or travel agencies as well as employers for deception.
Sources said the law has failed to check fraudulence in manpower export.
They said ‘manpower agents’ usually send people — mostly unskilled — making false promises of secured jobs with handsome salaries.
But in reality, many job-seekers find themselves cheated.
On arrival at their destinations, the unskilled workers find themselves in great trouble.
Ultimately, the deceived workers illegally stay in the countries taking low-paid unskilled jobs.
According to statistics of the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET), unskilled workers account for 49.65 percent of the total manpower exports, semi-skilled workers for 15 percent, skilled workers for 31 percent and professionals for 2.5 percent.
Most of the jobseekers are deceived by dishonest manpower agents or brokers for lack of proper knowledge about overseas job and necessary formalities.
A large number of people go aboard for jobs every year.
BMET sources said 7,57,731 workers went aboard in 2016, 5,55,881 in 2015, 4,25,684 in 2014, 4,09,253 in 2013, 6,07,798 in 2012 and 5,68,062 in 2011.
A section of private recruiters and brokers persuade jobseekers to go abroad giving false promises of well-paid jobs.
In most cases, they pay money to unscrupulous brokers and agents without taking any receipt. After being cheated, they often fail to take action against the dishonest brokers and agents.
Mahbubur Rahman, 25, hailing from Bogra, paid Tk 5 lakh to a local broker in a bid to go to Libya. But they sent him to Nepal. After nine months of sufferings in Nepal, he lost everything and retuned home empty-handed.
Like Mahbub, a large number of workers are cheated by dishonest manpower agents across the country.
Benjir Ahmed, President of the Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (BAIRA), told daily sun, “When people go abroad with work they have to check the terms and conditions in details. They should also take with them the written official documents.”
He advised people to directly contact the recruiting agencies.
“If they directly contact the recruiting agencies, they will be benefited. Firstly, they will not be deceived. Secondly, their migration cost would be lower and finally, they would get committed jobs,” he added.
At a recent seminar in the city on ‘Safe Immigration and Human Trafficking’, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Kamal, said, “Foreigners work in our country without any hassle, but regrettably people of our country are cheated abroad.”
“Currently, thousands of workers from different countries work in our country. After a decade, the number of foreign workers will stand at between 20 to 25 million. So, it is not desirable for any Bangladeshi worker to be deceived abroad,” he said.
According to BMET, over 1,000 recruiting agencies have been working across the country with valid licences. Of them, only 300 recruiting agencies send women workers abroad.
Source: Daily Sun, Dhaka, Bangladesh