About 8,000 Bangladeshi undocumented migrants who were stranded in Kuwait for deportation under a general amnesty were passing their days in miserable conditions with inadequate foods.
Since April 11, those Bangladeshis have been kept in different temporary labour camps, which were shabby, unhealthy and vulnerable to get them exposed to the COVID-19, according to victims and rights activists.
The stranded migrants have appealed to the Bangladesh government to take immediate steps to repatriate them to home.
‘Not with infection of the novel corona virus, rather we will soon die in Kuwait camps without having foods,’ a migrant posted his video to social media.
Most of the Bangladeshi migrants have been stranded in the temporary labour camps in Manggab, Chebdi and Abdali areas in Kuwait city, said the migrants.
Over 600 Bangladeshis were passing miserable days in a make ship camp in Manggab Madrasha after taking outpasses under the general amnesty, said Md Raihan Shekh, one of the victims.
He said that they were set to send back home with chartered flights of Kuwait government but it was delayed for lingered steps of the Bangladesh government.
‘We are being provided very inadequate foods in such enclosed situation and we are not allowed to bring foods from outside but no officials from Bangladesh embassy visited us,’ he said.
He said that the severe shortage of food and unhealthy living condition with only two toilets for them made many of compatriots sick in the camps.
Migrants’ Rights activist and Awaj Foundation director for migration Anisur Rahman Khan said that Bangladeshi Migrant workers were staying inhuman condition in Kuwait
He said that thousands of Bangladeshi migrant workers in Kuwait were waiting for deportation.
‘Though the migrants had migrated to Kuwait through regular ways but system made them Irregular,’ said adding that the Kuwait government dumped them in a school room at Manga in the name of general amnesty.
On April 1, the Kuwait government had declared general amnesty for foreigners living illegally including Bangladeshis after two years.
All undocumented Bangladeshi workers had been asked to complete the process from April 11 to April 15, 2020 as Kuwaiti Interior ministry said that citizens of each country have been given five days to complete the process of general forgiveness.
Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment ministry’s addition secretary Dr. Ahmed Munirus Saleheen said that the government had already decided to repatriate the Bangladeshis who were stranded in Kuwait.
He, however, said that they were not aware that the Bangladeshi migrants have been living with inadequate foods in Kuwait.
Dr Saleheen immediately confirmed that he had talked to top foreign ministry officials to take prompt actions for the migrants through Bangladesh embassy in Kuwait.
Kuwait has been recruiting Bangladeshi workers since 1976 and about 3.50 lakh Bangladeshis are currently working in Kuwait, according to Bureau of Manpower and Training.
A labour official of Bangladesh embassy there said that Bangladeshi workers had become undocumented in that country for their failure to update their papers.