Mamunur Rashid and his family members were lured by a middleman living in his area to send him off to Malaysia. They were promised that Mamun would end up with a secured job and descent salary. Considering their economic conditions, Mamun and his family saw this as a great opportunity. They scratched up money from selling everything and land lease to pay the middleman.

Mamun underwent a 7 days of training at Saudi-Bangla Training Institute in Bangladesh before he flew for Malaysia. After he landed, all his documents including his passport was kept by the middleman. Mamunur was appointed with a garment factory where he ended up working for 24 months without any holidays. Even on the day of Eid he was working, but still he couldn’t send a single Malaysian ringitt back home to his family who supported him with almost BDT. 400,000.

Being treated merely as properties of the factory, Mamunur and 14 other Bangladeshis were kept locked in a hall room except the working hours. They were given only 50 BDT per month for food which was the minimum they would need to survive for 3 days!

“After 24 months, I thought it isn’t possible anymore,” said Mamunur as he recalled those tough days at the factory.

He constantly asked for the payment from the employer and agent just to find out that the agent had taken the money for all 15 of them working for 2 years through signing a bond with the factory. Upon contacting with his family, they arranged BDT. 50,000 BDT and paid to the agent to get his passport back and return to Bangladesh.

“When I came back, there was nothing for me to move ahead with or towards anymore. I come from a poor family and I poured BDT 400,000 BDT. I’d feel like the sky had fallen on me,” added Mamunur at a session organized by IOM with big name global brands on promoting ethical recruitment practices and eliminating modern slavery.

Afterward, Mamunur was selected as one of the beneficiaries for the Building Resilience for the Returning Migrants through Economic Reintegration and Community Empowerment of The UN Migration Agency - IOM. Through the Aid Foundation, the implementing partner of IOM, he was provided withtraining on financial literacy and entrepreneurship. He was one of three hundred beneficiaries to receive financial support from IOM to start small business.  Now, he has a small betel leaf field of his own and runs a small cattle and poultry farm. He looks forward to expanding his business and invest in multiple ventures across his town in the upcoming years.  

“Thanks to your advice and support, this small person from a poor household can make his parents proud and can fulfill the dream I want to achieve by 2030,” said Mamunur who is dreaming to be a successful entrepreneur and employ young men from his town for his factories.

 

For more, please contact Youngin Kim (yokim@iom.int) and Chowdhury Asif Mahmud Bin Harun (mbinharun@iom.int) at IOM Bangladesh