Did not extend ban on recruiting unskilled labourers, says Ministry

Maldives Economic Ministry Saturday said the government has not extended the one year ban on recruiting unskilled workers from Bangladesh. The clarification came while some local media reported that the Economic Ministry extended the ban for an additional year.

Over 70,000 undocumented migrant workers are in the Maldives, majority of whom ae from Bangladesh. Last September, the Economic Ministry banned the recruitment of unskilled Bangladeshi workers in a big to tackle the country’s undocumented migrant workers issue. While the duration is set to expire next month, the Economic Ministry said the reports that the recruitment ban has been extended is false.

Economic Minister, Fayyaz Ismail previously explained that a maximum quota of 150,000 unskilled workers is allocated for each source country, and noted that the limit for Bangladeshi allocations has already been reached. Therefore, a temporary ban was being implemented for a period of one year, the minister had said.

Following the decision, the Ministry began work to register undocumented migrant workers in the Maldives and implemented a ‘Regularisation Program’ under which over 20,000 unregistered migrant workers were officially registered.