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“All Citizens are Equal before Law and are Entitled to Equal Protection of Law”-Article 27 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh

Issue No: 149
December 26, 2009

This week's issue:
Reviewing the views
Rights monitor
Laws for everyday life
Court corridor
Good News
Law lexicon
Law Amusements
Law Week

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Rights monitor

Migrant's tale

Dev's story, Malaysia
Dev left his family and home in Nepal when he was 19 and made the journey to Malaysia to work as a cleaner. He is one of over three million migrant workers in Malaysia. He told Amnesty International:

“I left because of fighting in Nepal. The country had lots of problems between the communists and the army. Young men were being taken by communists to join the fighting. They kill you if you refuse. I was very scared so I applied for a visa for Malaysia.

I contacted an agent and came to Malaysia on a cleaner's visa. I paid the agent 80,000 Nepali rupees (US$ 1000) to bring me here. I had to borrow money and I was supposed to pay back 1000 rupees per month with 320 rupees interest.

The agent told me that I would work as a cleaner when I arrived in Malaysia but I never got any work from the agent. When I arrived at the airport in Kuala Lumpur I waited for four hours. The agent finally came and picked me up with other people from Nepal who were coming as cleaners.

He took us to a flat where we waited for three months without any work. The agent never gave us any money so we had to go outside and meet Nepali people and explain what had happened and ask for food and money. The agent took my passport and never gave it back.”

Dev was later able to find work by himself, in a factory and also working for a construction company. His agent did not renew his visa and refused to return his passport.

Dev became an irregular migrant, without legal permission to stay or work in Malaysia. The wages he is paid are very low compared with other workers, but he knows he cannot complain because he does not have a work permit. He does not earn sufficient money to enable him to send funds back to his family in Nepal.

Dev would like to return home to Nepal but is now unable to do so as he does not have a passport and is scared of being caught by the authorities.

Source: Amnesty International Press release.


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