Left Menu
Development News Edition

Bangladesh on mission mode to bring back 101 trafficking victims from Vanuatu

Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 10-04-2019 22:40 IST | Created: 10-04-2019 21:55 IST
Bangladesh on mission mode to bring back 101 trafficking victims from Vanuatu
Image Credit: Pixabay

Bangladesh has begun steps to bring home 101 trafficking victims stranded in Vanuatu after they were lured there with the promise of work that never materialised, a government official said on Wednesday.

The migrants, who include two minors, have been stuck in the remote Pacific island nation since November when four people were arrested on charges of trafficking them, and are living off handouts and rations. Details of their plight emerged last month and the government has asked its nearest high commission in Australia to verify that they are Bangladeshi.

"They will send a team to Vanuatu and begin the national verification soon," home ministry official Abu Bakar Siddique told the Thomson Reuters Foundation, saying it was a first step towards bringing them home. The Bangladeshis, two of whom are under 18, have been named as witnesses in the trial of the four accused, who deny the charges.

One of the largest exporters of manpower in the world, Bangladesh depends heavily on remittances from abroad. According to official data, at least 1 million Bangladeshis secured jobs overseas in 2017 - the highest number ever recorded. But this depends largely upon unlicensed brokers working in rural areas and opens the door to trafficking, campaigners say.

The 101 migrants are all male and say they were duped by a network of brokers in the central Bangladeshi cities of Tangail and Barisal who transported them to Vanuatu via India, Singapore and Fiji over the last two years. Lured by the promise of sales jobs in Vanuatu and nearby Australia, the Bangladeshis said they had sold the property and taken out loans worth up to $20,000 to pay for the move.

Vanuatu, with about 280,000 people spread across roughly 80 islands, is one of the world's poorest countries. Only about a third of its inhabited islands have airfields and proper roads. Harun Or Rashid, one of the 101 victims, expressed doubts they would be able to leave soon because of their role in the trial.

"We have told the local NGOs here that we want to work and earn some money because this case might go on for a long time," he said by phone from Vanuatu. "Some of the NGOs are trying to get us a work permit for at least four months. If we get that permission, it will help us a lot."

The men are currently living off the support of the local government, local charities and the United Nations migration agency. "The next hearing is on Sunday," said Rashid. "Hopefully that will bring us some positive news."

(With inputs from agencies.)

Download The Devdiscourse News App for Latest News.



Tourism post-COVID 19: Lessons learned, out-of-box strategies to ensure the revival

In the pre-COVID 19 period the tourism industry was seen with much hope throughout the world. However, the COVID 19 pandemic has completely paralysed the tourism industry and its dependent sectors. The tourism industry in the post-COVID 19 ...

Cybersecurity post-COVID 19: More internet means more threats, stay alert folks!

When supported by adequate digital awareness campaigns and more crackdowns on cybercrimes, increased internet usage will help more people embrace technology and better understand the risks, bringing us closer to unleashing the true potentia...

Rising temperatures in India seem to counter the spread of COVID 19 infections

Scary predictions on the rate of spread of COVID 19 infections in India are floating in media. But the data on the spread of infections coming so far point to a contrary trajectory putting a question mark on such predictions. Explanations o...

Sanitation post-COVID 19: Tissue paper not in fashion, learn to wash

Tissue paper has failed COVID 19 test. The modern understanding of sanitation is passing through a stage of transformation. Those who used to feel proud of using tissue paper have been compelled to wash frequently their hands with soap. In ...


Latest News

WNBA players eliminated in NBA 2K League Three For All

The two teams with WNBA players lost second-round matches Thursday in the NBA 2K League Three For All Showdown. Watch Us Work, consisting of Atlanta Dream guard Alexis Jones, Dallas Wings guard Allisha Gray and Washington Mystics forward Ae...

Mexico stops brewing Corona beer, deemed non-essential in epidemic

Mexicos Grupo Modelo said on Thursday it will temporarily stop brewing Corona beer and other brands exported to 180 countries after its business activities were declared non-essential under a government order aimed at curbing the spread of ...

Suarez 'hurt' by criticism of Barca players' pay cut delay

Uruguay star Luis Suarez complained that he has been hurt by criticism of him and fellow millionaire Barcelona players for the time it took to agree to pay cuts to help out other club employees. Argentine superstar Lionel Messi announced on...

COVID-19: TOEFL, GRE tests to be taken at home except in mainland China, Iran, says Educational Testing Service (ETS).

COVID-19 TOEFL, GRE tests to be taken at home except in mainland China, Iran, says Educational Testing Service ETS....

Give Feedback