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Saudi lifts ban on Bangladeshi workers, while ignoring plight of thousands of stranded workers

On August 12, 2016

Saudi Arabia has lifted a six-year ban on the recruitment of Bangladeshi workers. The move comes even as the Kingdom struggles to deal with tens of thousands of migrant workers stranded and starving, without pay or sustenance.

Arab News reports 'Dhaka thanks king for lifting ban on workers’.

The ban did not apply for domestic workers.  Of the 1.3 million Bangladeshi migrants in the Kingdom, 60,000 are female domestic workers.

Bangladesh’s exuberant response to this latest move signifies the lack of co-operation between Asian countries of origin, and the resulting competitive environment that does little to protect its citizens abroad.

Saudi Arabia on the other hand continues to play roulette, seeking new countries to recruit from that will unquestioningly send its citizens to work in the oppressive environment, where  laws at best are perfunctory.

According to the latest news report:

Delighted over the new development, Bangladesh Ambassador Golam Moshi told Arab News that this is good news for all prospective workers from his country.

The envoy recalled that the re-opening the recruitment channels from Bangladesh followed a June meeting between Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Bloomberg meanwhile reports:

Abandoned laborers, including nearly 16,000 from India and Pakistan alone, according to their governments, haven’t seen a paycheck in about eight months.

“They don’t give us any answers about our salaries,” said Mohammed Salahaldeen, a duct fabricator from Bangladesh, as he stood in a labor camp in Riyadh set up by the Saudi Oger construction company in better days.