January 8, 2013 -
Sri Lankans looking to find jobs in Oman will now undergo fingerprint scanning before leaving the country. This is a move aimed at cracking down on fraud and other irregularities in the recruitment process for migrant labourers.
As The Nation reports, this new system was put in place by the federal government after busting numerous rackets sending Sri Lankans to work in the Middle East with forged certificates. Initial police investigations revealed these accused rackets were charging big sums of money from people looking to work in the Middle East who had previously failed medical examinations.
“The electronic fingerprinting system will also help in the ongoing blacklisting of migrant workers who return to Sri Lanka after being convicted in crimes for various offences. Most of these workers had been found guilty of over-staying their visas, robbery, engaging in prostitution and flouting the laws of Oman,” a Sri Lankan Embassy official said in the Nation report.
According to the Times of Oman, there are currently 1.8 million migrant workers from Sri Lanka mostly in the Middle East with around 30,000 employed in Oman, of which 17,000 are working as housemaids.
The Government of India has also recently had to consider the identification of migrant workers amongst its national biometric objectives. As reported previously in BiometricUpdate.com, as a part of a recent project to issue biometric smart ID cards to fishermen in Goa, officials have given temporary identification cards that expire annually, as workers return to their native states during the monsoon season.