A Supreme Court lawyer has sent a legal notice to the government authorities concerned, seeking initiatives to bring bodies of expatriate workers back home in government expenses.
Advocate Md Moniruzzaman Linkon served the notice for public interest to the secretaries of the Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment, the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday.
They have to take steps within seven days of receiving the notice, otherwise legal steps will be taken regarding the matter, as stated in the notice.
"As an emerging third world economy, we now stand upright in a world relying largely on foreign remittances," the notice said.
As a welfare state, the country's responsibility towards the expatriate workers who work hard round the clock in foreign countries, leaving behind their family and dear ones in home, is of great significance and the government has been playing a very important and strong role in this regard, it added.
Moniruzzaman said recruiting agencies usually make arrangements for returning the corpse if any expat worker dies abroad. "However, in some cases, especially in the case of a free visa or for some other reasons, the country of origin has to make the arrangement. Bangladesh is not any exception in this regard."
Earlier, Biman Bangladesh Airlines used to bring back dead bodies of expatriate workers for free, he mentioned, adding, "But, of late, it has been learnt through the media that the national flag carrier has decided not to continue the service. Therefore, the families of expat workers have to bear the cost of bringing back the bodies from now."
The notice has been served so that the government bears the expenses of bringing back dead bodies of expat workers from abroad, Moniruzzaman added.