Bangladeshi migrants waiting in Kuwait to be sent back home have alleged that they are living in inhuman conditions in the deportation camps.
Many claim they are not getting sufficient food during Sehri and Iftar. Some have taken to social media to express their anger and sent various videos documenting their hardships to journalists in Dhaka.
These migrants have been staying at the camps for more than two weeks, but the exact time of return is still uncertain.
Earlier on April 12, the government of Kuwait announced a general amnesty for all undocumented immigrants, including Bangladeshis, giving them till April 30 to leave the country.
Under the amnesty, undocumented immigrants could return to their home countries without being fined. The Kuwait government also bore all costs of sending the migrants back.
Soon after the announcement, the Bangladesh Embassy in Kuwait urged undocumented workers to make use of this opportunity. Around 4,500 Bangladeshis registered to return home.
Since then, they have been kept in four deportation camps outside the capital, Kuwait City.
"More than 2,000 Bangladeshis are in the Abdali camp. We are suffering from food shortages and leading an inhuman life," said some Bangladeshis in a video posted on social media.
"Although the authorities told us that we will be sent back within two days, we have spent more than two weeks here. No representatives from the Bangladesh Embassy contacted us after we reached the camp," they claimed.
Some workers in the Mangaf camp, said, "More than 1,500 Bangladeshis are in the camp. We want to return as soon as possible."
Shariful Hasan, head of the Brac Migration Programme, said the migrants in Kuwait are also contacting them.
"Flights have been halted during this novel coronavirus crisis. That is why it is tough to take an immediate decision for any authority at the moment."
He added that the embassy should contact the migrant Bangladeshis.
However, the Bangladeshi Embassy in Kuwait did not receive phone calls when The Business Standard tried to contact them for a comment on the matter.
Among the registered Bangladeshis in Kuwait, 247 have already returned by two different flights on April 27 and 28.
According to the home ministry of Kuwait, the total number of undocumented migrants is 1.6 lakh in the country. Among them, 25,000 received general amnesty this year.
However, there is no official estimate of the number of undocumented Bangladeshis in Kuwait. Unofficial estimates put the number at around 15,000-17,000.
Previously, 8,000 Bangladeshis were the beneficiaries of a general amnesty in 2018.