Rescuing our youths trafficked overseas

9 September, 2018 12:00 AM printer

Our youths looking for overseas jobs seem to be forever blighted by the scourge of trafficking by local and international crime rackets, exploitation and cheating by both real and non-existent employers abroad.  Friday’s lead report of this paper has again shed fresh light on the people so trafficked abroad. They have been detained in foreign jails including in Kuwait, Libya and Malaysia. Libya is known for its notoriety as the transit point for the trafficked job-seekers mainly from Africa and war-torn Middle Eastern countries bound for the shores of Europe on board unseaworthy vessels across the Mediterranean Sea. Though thousands have perished over the past years during such perilous voyages, the march to death continues unabated.

The worst part of this story is that, thanks to the deceptive charms of their fake providers of job abroad, Bangladeshi youths have also landed in Tripoli, Libya.  They have reportedly been taken there via Istanbul of Turkey.  Some of them were rotting in jail there and have been sent back home by International Organisation for Migration (IOM). Similar stories are coming from Malaysia. 

We also learn from this report that an investigation by the detective branch of the police has unravelled a nexus between the local and international traffickers and some dishonest members of the airport immigration police, which is behind such criminal activities.

The police have meanwhile raided a travel agency office and a fake visa factory in the capital and have seized a large number of passports with bogus visas, false employment contracts and various types of spurious transaction documents.

Evidently, what the police have dug up in this case is just the tip of the iceberg. The operators of the fake visa factory or of the travel agency are but a minor link in the long chain of traffickers’ network spread across national borders. The kingpins of this criminal underworld are so powerful and well-entrenched in society here as well as abroad that it poses an enormous challenge before the law-enforcers engaged in the task of ferreting them out.

Even so, what the detective branch has achieved so far is undeniably commendable. But they would need more support from the government and the international bodies fighting human trafficking to track down these criminals and their victims and bring the offenders to justice.   Side by side, diplomatic efforts should be there to persuade host governments in the endeavour to rescue Bangladeshi victims trapped there.