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Another group of Bangladeshis repatriated from Maldives

DIGEST-ENG-25-08-2020-Maldives

An additional 199 Bangladeshi nationals have been repatriated.

National airline, Maldivian, said that the 199 individuals were repatriated on Monday afternoon and added that this was its 32nd flight repatriating Banghladeshi nationals.

The airline had said that 5,933 Bangladeshis had been evacuated from the Maldives by August 19.

While authorities are working to send back undocumented Bangladeshi workers, Maldivian did not specify whether those repatriated on Monday were living in the country unlawfully.

The repatriation is part of the government’s efforts to evacuate volunteering expatriate workers from the Maldives, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

These efforts are being carried out together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Bangladeshi High Commission in the Maldives, with the assistance from the Bangladeshi government.

President Solih announced the programme to send about 1,500 undocumented workers from Bangladesh, during a national address on May 4.

On May 20, the president stressed that the Covid-19 pandemic also gives the opportunity to improve "many unfavourable practices" in the country such as improving the living conditions of expatriate workers.

Majority of the migrant workers in the Maldives, especially capital Malé City, are forced to live in congested, unhygienic spaces and have been identified as Covid-19 vulnerable.

The Immigration office has revealed that out of the 200,000 expatriate workers residing in the Maldives, nearly 60,000 are undocumented workers living illegally without valid visas and passports.