Tuesday, 28 September, 2021

Stop human trafficking

As per the report of a prominent vernacular daily, at least 10,000 Bangladeshis are waiting along the Libyan coast to cross the Mediterranean to reach the European shores in the hope of a new life there. The CID of police has come to know about this number following talks with 17 returnees who were rescued from the sea. Talking to them, police have extracted information about the vicious cycle involved in the deadliest sea crossing. They have come to know from the returnees about the inhumane conditions being faced by the migrants in Libya. But, regrettably, the Bangladesh mission in Tripoli is reportedly indifferent to their woes. It should strengthen its efforts to ensure safety of our citizens there.  

Relevant ministries should also take a strong stance in this regard and be more aware of the state of our citizens in Libya. It should seek assistance from the Libyan government and other international organisations to ensure the safety of our migrant workers who face a life and death situation on a daily basis. Human trafficking is the third largest crime industry across the globe behind drug dealing and arms trafficking, according to different studies. Bangladesh has been suffering to a great extent from this scourge. Every year, thousands of Bangladeshis are falling victim to human traffickers. Lots of our citizens have also lost their lives in the process. What is a matter of great concern is that the traffickers are now using different social media to allure young people to make them victims of trafficking. The authorities concerned should strengthen their awareness campaign, especially among the youths, against getting allured by traffickers’ false promises.

Promoting safe migration is a proven strategy to reduce vulnerability to trafficking. The government should invest in skills development of prospective migrants to ensure greater security for them. Pre-departure information should be made available for protection of migrants abroad. The government must take necessary steps to stop the crime of human trafficking. It should coordinate with other countries in to stop the menace. At home, strict laws should be enacted to curb the crime.