UAE to take action against nations refusing repatriation of migrant workers: Report

RIYADH/DUBAI: The UAE plans to impose “strict restrictions” on countries reluctant to take back their nationals working in the Gulf country in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak and restructure its cooperation and labour relations with them, a state-run media report said on Sunday.

Indian expatriate community of nearly 33 lakh is the largest ethnic community in UAE constituting roughly about 30% of the country’s population. Among the Indian states, Kerala is the most represented followed by Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

The options being considered by the ministry of human resources and emiratisation include “imposing strict future restrictions on the recruitment” of workers from these countries and activating the “quota” system in recruitment operations, state-run WAM news agency reported, citing an official. It said the options also include suspending memoranda of understanding signed between the ministry and concerned authorities in these countries. Citing the unidentified official, it said these options are being considered after many countries did not respond to requests by their nationals to return home following the outbreak.

The official said all countries of for eign workers in the UAE should be responsible for their nationals wishing to return to their countries as part of an initiative launched recently by the ministry. Earlier this month, the ministry launched an initiative to enable residents who work n the UAE and wish to return to their countries to do so during the period of precautionary measures undertaken to contain the spread of the virus.

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