Ten years ago, in November 2006, Al Jazeera English was launched. To mark that anniversary, we've created REWIND, which updates some of the channel's most memorable and award-winning documentaries of the past decade. We find out what happened to some of the characters in those films and ask how the stories have developed in the years since our cameras left.
Each year, tens of thousands of migrant workers travel to Singapore in search of a better life.
Most pay hefty fees to agents, who promise them work as labourers in the construction and shipping industries. When the economy was booming, those promises were largely fulfilled. But as a global recession took hold in 2009, horror stories began to emerge.
This film follows the journey of a Bangladeshi worker caught in a nightmarish situation. Mohamed Ismail shows us the room he shares with 13 other people. They sleep on bare concrete floors and there is hardly any space to move. Some claim that unfair deductions have even been taken from their salaries to pay for their cramped living conditions - salaries they don't receive for six months at a time.
Ismail knew life as a migrant worker would be tough, but he thought he would eventually return home to his wife and family as a rich man. Now, he faces the prospect of returning home to his family in Bangladesh with nothing. His 'Migrant Dreams' had turned into a nightmare.
REWIND spoke to Ramachelvam Manimuthu, chairperson of the Committee on Migrants, Refugees and Immigration Affairs in Kuala Lumpur, about why the problems faced by migrant workers continue to persist today.
"We do not provide for migrant workers the same social security protection that is given to the nationals who work in our country," says Manimuthu. "There is this rise of xenophobia, there is this anti-migrant wave ... it is becoming toxic."
Source: Al Jazeera