It was reassuring that 184 Bangladeshi fortune-seekers were rescued from certain death while trying to cross the Macedonian sea by a tiny engine boat to reach Italy via Libya. However, what is astonishing is that even after narrowly escaping death these youths are reluctant to return home. The reason as they said they are debt-ridden back at home and cannot afford to abandon the voyage no matter how perilous it is.
We are accustomed to seeing such news reports every now and then. One may wonder why so many youths risk their lives by taking illegal routes to reach foreign lands. The answer is plain and simple. Every year, a large number of youths who enter job market remain unemployed. Taking advantage of the desperation of these unemployed youths, organised human traffickers lure them in with non-existent lucrative jobs abroad. Thus they easily fall prey to the traffickers' false promise and agree to embark on the perilous journey in exchange of lakhs of taka that they collect by selling their agri-lands and even their homesteads. In many cases, they are compelled to take loan at high interest rate.
The horrendous experience of fortune seekers should come as an eye opener. The people must be more aware of the racket of the human traffickers and should follow legal channels of going abroad.
At the same time the authorities concerned should streamline the process of the going abroad, which is now infested with brokers and conmen. Sadly, we have seen that traffickers remain unpunished most of the time. As to why, this crime is not coming down. The government should take a zero tolerance stance in this regard. It should launch a crackdown on human traffickers.
Above all, the state-level legal process of migration must be strengthened by uprooting corruption from various stages of migration. Steps should be taken for training of unskilled labourers. Youths should be dissuaded from misadventure by providing them with proper advice regarding migration prospects.