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COVID-19 and undocumented Bangladeshi migrant laborers in Malaysia: a study of livelihood struggle

Moniruzzaman, Md. (2021) COVID-19 and undocumented Bangladeshi migrant laborers in Malaysia: a study of livelihood struggle. In: 6th Annual Conference on Social Research in Bangladesh, 6 November 2021, Dhaka (Online ). (Unpublished)

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Malaysia’s economy, since 1980s, has attracted millions of migrant workers from the neighboring and regional economies. It is estimated that at the end of 2019, Malaysia was hosting about eight million foreign workers. However, the labor market is heavily oversupplied by a large number of undocumented or illegal foreign workers. Various sources suggest that there were about 2-4.6 million such undocumented foreign workers living in the country in 2017. Even though the government is not receptive to the undocumented workers, the economy is in need of them. So, millions of them are employed illegally in various sectors, and they contribute enormously in keeping the economy vibrant. However, due to their illegal status, the undocumented foreign workers remain under constant threats from the police, local thugs, employers and sub-contractors who exploit them in many ways. Based on qualitative analysis of survey and interview data from 659 undocumented Bangladeshi workers in Malaysia, this study found that Malaysian government’s inconsistent policies towards undocumented foreign migrant workers caused their livelihood uncertainties, while the government remains oblivious to their productive contribution to the national economy. The COVID-19 has caused greater uncertainties due to loss of job, no income and greater indebtness for the undocumented Bangladeshi workers in Malaysia.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Plenary Papers)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Covid-19, illegal migrants, undocumented migrants, Bangladeshi, Malaysia
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD4801 Labor. Work. Working class
Kulliyyahs/Centres/Divisions/Institutes (Can select more than one option. Press CONTROL button): Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences > Department of Political Science
Depositing User: Dr. Moniruzzaman Md.
Date Deposited: 27 Dec 2021 16:16
Last Modified: 27 Dec 2021 16:16
URI: http://irep.iium.edu.my/id/eprint/93808

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