Family members urge govt to bring 180 workers back home from Iraq

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New Age Online

Family members of 180 Bangladeshi workers living indecently at a construction site in Najaf of Iraq urged the government of Bangladesh on Wednesday to repatriate them immediately.
They also sought direct intervention of the prime minister Sheikh Hasina to take immediate measures in this regard as the concerned recruiting agency, officials at Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training and Bangladesh Embassy in Baghdad kept ‘repeatedly cheating them’ to resolve the problem.
The relatives of those workers raised their demand at a press conference held at the National Press Club today.
Rights Jessore and SHISUK, local human rights organisation and Bangladesh Human Rights Coordinating council jointly organised the press conference.
According to the relatives and rights organisations, Career Overseas Consultant Ltd, a local recruiting agency, had sent those 180 workers to Iraq for employment about seven months. They took Tk 300,000 to 500,000 from each of the workers.
Most of the workers were supposed to go to Qatar for their jobs but ultimately they ended up in Iraq, the relatives said.
When the workers wanted to return to Bangladesh, the employers in Iraq allegedly continued threatening them on gun-points.
Zabed Ahmed, a brother of Engineer Mohammad Siddique, who was among the 180 workers, said, his brother was supposed to join a Qatar firm but was put in Iraq.
He said his brother was passing a subhuman life in Iraq without any job. The officials of the recruiting agency captivated his brother and other workers, he said.
Zabed urged the prime minister to take action to repatriate the workers and realise compensation from the agency.
Senior lawyer at Bangladesh Supreme Court Shahdeen Malik said that all of the relatives of the migrant workers have been united to seek intervention of the prime minister after failing to bring their loved ones back home.
‘We strongly hope that the prime minister will respond to their calls and take her special measures to repatriate 180 workers from Iraq…’ he said.
When contacted, Career Overseas Consultant managing director Badrul Amin told New Age that the workers in Iraq were being given jobs gradually. Of the workers, some 63 workers have already been employed in Iraq, he claimed.

Source: New Age