Bangladesh is set to ink a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Libya to make the migration process to the North African country more transparent, disciplined and secure.
"We have sent the draft MoU to Libya. Now they are working on it," Ahmed Munirus Saleheen, secretary to the Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment, told The Business Standard on Sunday, after Libyan Charge d'Affaires to Bangladesh Rahoumah MR Yahy paid a courtesy call on Expatriates' Welfare Minister Imran Ahmad at his office on the day.
During the meeting, the two parties discussed signing agreements to discourage irregularities, and ensure fairness, order and discipline in the migration process, reads a press release issued by the ministry.
They also explored strategies to prevent offences such as human trafficking, it adds.
There is a good opportunity for employment, especially in the construction sector, in Libya, said Ahmed Munirus, adding, "If the legal channel functions properly and workers get good salaries in Libya, migrants will not try to cross the Mediterranean to go to Europe illegally," he added.
Bangladesh lifted the restriction on sending workers to Libya in November last year considering the improved political situation in the war-torn nation.
But, since the lifting of the ban, only five Bangladeshis have migrated to the country through the official channel for job purposes, according to data provided by the Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training.
Some 1,22,500 Bangladeshis have gone to Libya with jobs since1976.
During the meeting, the Libyan Charge d'Affaires thanked the Bangladesh government for lifting the ban on sending workers to his country.
He said the role of Bangladeshi workers in the development of Libya deserves high praise. Mentioning that the current Libyan government has undertaken extensive development programmes, he expressed hope that Bangladeshi migrant workers would play a fruitful role in moving the wheel of the Libyan economy.
He further said that the Libyan government is committed to protecting the rights of immigrant workers.
In 2012, the government banned sending workers to Libya, taking into consideration the safety issues following political unrest in the North African country.
But a section of manpower workers continued sending workers to that country through unofficial channels, industry insiders said.
On the other hand, human traffickers have been using Libya as a route to send workers to different European countries, especially to Italy.
In 2020, 26 Bangladeshi migrant workers in captivity were killed by human traffickers in Libya.