5 lakh expat Bangladeshi workers to be fingerprinted
Bangladesh and Malaysia will work together to fingerprint for the first time the estimated 500,000 Bangladeshis working legally and illegally here, said Hishammuddin Hussein, home minister of Malaysia, yesterday.
The government had struck a separate agreement with Bangladesh’s High Commission to facilitate the registration of their workers, beginning immediately, he said.
Under the deal, government officials may go to factories where Bangladeshis work to register them. The two countries will also share information to crack down on traffickers who exploit Bangladeshi workers.
“The objective is to… ensure that these people are not exploited either by human traffickers, syndicates or third parties,” the minister said.
Malaysia announced last week that it will offer amnesty to those who come forward from July 11 for two weeks. Some will be able to keep their jobs, while others will be deported without facing such penalties as caning for overstaying.
The country remains on a US human trafficking watch list, according to the annual Trafficking in Persons Report, which the State Department released this week.
“There remain many serious concerns regarding trafficking in Malaysia, including the detention of trafficking victims in government facilities,” the report said.
Hishammuddin admitted Malaysia was still in the process of tackling the problem.
“I agree with them. I think we should still be on the watch list because we have only just rolled out these measures” such as fingerprinting workers, he said
-With The Daily Star input