By Ashraf Abdul-Wahab and Mariam Muttawa.
Tripoli, 29 August 2013:
The Bangladeshi Embassy in Tripoli says it knows nothing about reports that the . . .[restrict]Ministry of Labour plans to restrict Bangladeshi workers from coming to Libya.
Ibrahim Abdel Qader, the Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs at the Ministry of Labor, was quoted in the press yesterday saying that the planned move followed a call for action from the Ministry of Justice and the General Staff who insisted the status of Bangladeshi workers in Libya be regulated. Their presence in the country was growing too fast, Abdul Qader was reported by as saying.
According to the embassy, however, numbers on workers arriving in Libya are steady and sustained.
The spokesman for the Interior Ministry, Rami Kaal was also quoted by Benghazi-based Quryna newspaper alleging that most Bangladeshis entered the country illegally and as such were a threat because they were not screened and could be bringing in infectious diseases.
Keeping up the offensive, a local government official in Benghazi, Ayman Khafifi, complained that the government was not taking any action on the matter of Bangladeshi immigration, especially the fact that Bangladeshis were being traded in Libya and “sold” to businesses, factories, farms and homes.
“We have been told the Libyan government that we are in favour of only legal immigration to Libya and are working with them to ensure that.
Bangladeshis represent a large source of unskilled labour in the country, doing the menial jobs that few Libyans are prepared to do, notably refuse collection and cleaning.
Last year, there were allegations of hundred of fake Libyan work permits being issued in Dhaka by Libyans and others claiming to be acting officially.
Mariam Muttawa is an Journalism intern with Libya Herald [/restrict]