Friday, September 20, 2019 | ePaper

Why youths taking life risk to get a job in foreign lands?

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STATE Minister for Foreign Affairs yesterday said the government has taken zero tolerance policy against illegal migration. "Our government will not tolerate any illegal practices in migration. Even a single case of harassment and a life lost is important... one success story of reaching Europe illegally cannot be an example for others to follow," he said. He also suggested that those who had gone to Libya with the ultimate purpose of reaching Europe illegally should be brought under law. Bangladesh stopped sending Bangladeshis to Libya in 2014 because of civil wars there. Though belated, the decision of government against illegal migration is welcoming.  
Meanwhile, 15 Bangladeshi migrants who survived after a boat carrying them capsized in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Tunisia returned home yesterday. A flight carrying the survivors reached at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka around 6:00am. Some 40 Bangladeshis were feared dead and 15 were rescued from the Mediterranean on May 9 when a boat carrying nearly 80 people were crossing the sea to reach Europe. Survivors told the Red Crescent that the tragedy unfolded after some 75 people who had left Zuwara on the northwestern Libyan coast on a large boat were transferred to a smaller one that sank off Tunisia.
In this backdrop, the State Minister has advised local journalists to investigate and identify the middlemen who are duping the overseas jobseekers and finally leaving them in danger. But what's the role of the government ? Bangladesh is now reportedly among the top countries of origin for illegal immigrants in Europe. Several thousand illegal Bangladeshi migrants entered different countries of Europe through the Mediterranean Sea route in the recent years. The illegal travel to Malaysia and Thailand through dangerous sea routes has also not yet stopped. The mass graves of Bangladeshi migrants recently discovered in those countries.
What's true is that, hundreds of unemployed youths are leaving the country in a regular basis through illegal ways risking their lives to get a job in foreign lands. They become easy prey of brokers and human traffickers due to poverty. Why the youths have to choose a dangerous way to get a job when government claims massive economic development in the country?  

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