Wednesday, January 24, 2018 | ePaper

Create jobs, stop human trafficking

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THE Malaysian Immigration Department on Friday detained a Bangladeshi in Alam Megah area of Shah Alam city [27 km from Kuala Lumpur] for running a human trafficking syndicate. Quoting Immigrations' Director-General Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali, the media reported that a 49-year-old Malaysian national was also arrested in this connection.

 'Abang Bangla, 43, whose real name is Abdur Rauf, has been smuggling people into Malaysia for the past eight months. Fifty other Bangladeshis, aged between 20 and 45, were arrested in another raid in Shah Alam. These people had travelled from Dhaka to Indonesian capital Jakarta and then took a boat to enter Malaysia illegally,' the media quoted him as saying.

It is not the first time. Bangladeshi film director Ananya Mamun along with his associate Miraz was detained in Kuala Lumpur on December 25 on charge of human trafficking. On December 18, the Malaysian authorities rescued 59 Bangladeshi human trafficking victims raiding two places in Desa Petaling, Kualampur.

It is learnt that, the syndicates charge between RM15,000 and RM20,000 [TK 3,15000 -4,20,000] for each person to bypass the authorities, including Immigration and the Malaysian High Commission in Dhaka. But who cannot pay such amount of money; they take other way to migrate. At least 800 Bangladeshis and Rohingya refugees were killed since 2011 in overburdened trawlers and boat capsizing in the Bay of Bengal while they tried to migrate to Malaysia on a perilous 2000-mile journey. Most shocking is that, several Bangladeshis youths who went to Malaysia for education have also become victims of human trafficking.

Bangladeshi people are also reportedly trafficked to different countries, including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Iraq, Lebanon and Liberia for work through some members of the Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies-allegedly linked with the trafficking syndicates.  Last year, Bangladesh was downgraded in the US 'trafficking in persons' report for not making enough efforts to combat the menace terming it as largest source of boat migrants to Europe. A United Nations report said more than 2,700 people died last year attempting to cross the Mediterranean with Bangladeshis top of the list of people rescued. London-based The Independent last May reported that Bangladeshis nationals make up the single largest group of illegal migrants to European shores. Trafficking to India from Bangladesh is also frequent.

Obviously, these sorts of news would not bring any honour for the country. Bangladesh presently becomes a source and transit place for men, women, and children - both boys and girls - subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation.  There is no way but to take tough action against the international trafficking syndicates.

At the same time, government must take stringent action to ensure safe migration to foreign countries while remittance is very much needed for our economy.  Side by side, it needs to arrange a sufficient number of jobs in local markets. It is hard to understand, why so many Bangladeshis would be victims of human trafficking syndicates to get a poor-salary job, when country is trying to get status of middle income country by 2021. 

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