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Dhaka issues smart cards for migrant workers



Newspaper title

Daily Prime News


Daily Prime News

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Dhaka: To counter fraud in the recruitment of overseas workers, the Bangladesh government is issuing smart cards with names, photographs and fingerprints of workers heading for Saudi Arabia and other countries.

Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni told Arab News this week that Dhaka is currently streamlining its processes to suit the employment policies and needs of the Kingdom. There are currently two million Bangladeshi workers in the Kingdom, out of eight million working abroad.

The smart cards would prevent impersonation and eliminate the role of intermediaries in the overseas recruitment process.

All workers heading overseas have to go through the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET), she said.

If migrants face problems abroad, the country’s embassy can immediately identify the status of the worker with information contained on the smart card, without needing the person’s passport.

Moni said there was no indication of a mass exodus of Bangladeshi expatriates from the Kingdom because of the Saudization program. She added that her government has been monitoring the situation and would take action if necessary.

She urged fellow nationals to use the three-month grace period offered by the Saudi government to get their papers in order.

The Bangladesh Foreign Minister said there was currently a steady stream of workers heading to Saudi Arabia. Dhaka is focusing on sending skilled and semi-skilled men and women to Middle Eastern countries, she added.

Moni also gave a briefing on challenges before her party’s government and its achievements to visiting journalists from Bahrain, Egypt, Japan, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.

She said trials of people suspected of committing war crimes during the country’s secession from Pakistan in 1971 were being held in line with international standards and in a transparent manner.



Smart Card, migrant workers protection

Economic sectors

General relevance - all sectors

Content types

Policy analysis and Support initiatives

Target groups

(Im)migrants workers, Policymakers, Employers, agencies and their representatives, Researchers, and NGOs/community groups/solidarity networks

Geographical focuses


Spheres of activity