Manpower export sector in the hand of the brokers
In Bangladesh, the manpower export sector is basically broker controlled and captivated byvarious irregularities. From renowned agencies to general brokers and so called local agencies try do business in this sector. These agencies and brokers follow deceitful ways and irregularities to send workers abroad. However, corrupted system, bureaucratic complexity and opaque policy of the government institutions compel them to do corruption and irregularities.
Such a manpower export broker is defalcating huge sum of money from workers willing to go abroad by promising to give training and processing visa. Because of the ignorance of the willing workers, they are falling victim to the danger of fraud brokers.
Seeking anonymity, an official of this organization said, ‘Here we teach 21 foreign languages mainly. Our director completed masters from Dhaka University.’
When the reporter said, ‘You were saying you process visas…’ He replied, ‘Other agencies take 12 lacs. We take 8 lacs.’
There is no recruiting agency in the name of the person in the government list let alone sending workers by teaching foreign language.
According to a research by Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB), manpower export sector of Bangladesh is mainly brokers controlled. Because of lack of knowledge the workers want to go abroad by managing a broker. In some cases the government itself does not the removal of broker system from this sector. The reason behind this is the brokers actually encourage and help the workers to go abroad.
A person who is a victim of the fraud by broker and agencies said, ‘I gave money to a person a few months ago to process visa of Malaysia. But he has not done anything yet regarding my visa.’ Another victim said, ‘I gave 5, 80,000 taka to a broker.’
Another sufferer said, ‘They will give visa in this month. But now the manpower office is asking for finger print. In this way 3 months have passed. I have not got any clearance.’
Professor of International Relations Department of Dhaka University, C. R Abrar said, ‘It is true that the brokers have kept the manpower export sector dynamic and sustainable. So, making this sector broker free is not an easy task.’
He also said, ‘Formulation of policy or making laws based on recruitment agencies only will not work much. Most of the brokers are not coming under the policy or law. We have to ensure theaccountability of the brokers.’
Secretary General of Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (BAIRA), Ruhul Amin said, ‘There is a lack of trust of general people in the manpower export process of Bangladesh. Even after giving money to brokers many people could not go abroad. That is why this situation has emerged.’
Mr. Amin also said, ‘We need to make changes in the process. The workers will deposit money in the bank and they will feel safe. Another matter is, if possible, domestic license can be given to the brokers.’
Although the risk of fraud is less in going abroad through official G to Gsystem, there are corruption, nepotism and bureaucratic complexity.
This is not the end. There is another danger. After passing the hassles of corruption, nepotism and bureaucratic complexity, there is a chance of getting dropped after the medical test. That comes as a bolt from the blue.
A worker willing to go abroad through G to G system talked about his sufferings. He said, ‘I submitted papers for medical test. They did not do the work. The date of medical test has passed. I have come to submit the papers again.’
Another sufferer of the system said, ‘What has happened I do not know. I will have to do the medical test again. The date passed. I have come today to do the medical test again.’
It is found that in the name of medical test, not only the workers willing to go to Malaysia, but also workers willing to go to other countries are harassed. The sufferers said that the process should be easy and modern so that they may not face harassment.
In spite of corruption, complexities and obstacles in this sector, there is no alternative to manpower export to ensure well off life of the workers and a rich national economy.
Golam Mourtoza (pen name G M Mourtoza) is a Bangladeshi media activist based in Rajshahi where he has worked for several print, electronic and online media outlet. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org