Friday, July 3, 2020 | ePaper

Not only Libya, but many other countries also treat our migrant workers brutally

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MEDIA reports on Saturday said Bangladesh government has sought justice from the internationally recognized Libyan government for the killing of 26 Bangladeshi nationals and the infliction of fatal injuries to 11 more in an incident in which a group of unruly militias opened fire on them in a desert. They at first took them hostage demanding ransom as the traffickers were moving a group of 42 to a coastal town for crossing the Mediterranean to go to Italy. At some point both sides broke into a brawl killing a trafficker. The militias retaliated by killing almost the entire group including some Africans.
It is almost a routine work to demand justice for those who have suffered such criminal acts. Such a killing of helpless people who lavishly paid local and international human traffickers for reaching Italy - which is now a favourite destination for job seekers -- is abhorrent and unforgivable. But in a lawless country like Libya where law and order is fragile, demanding justice seems to be almost irrelevant. This is a war ravaged country where different armed groups are fighting for the control of the country and unruly militias are freely operating in a virtual state of lawlessness. Who will punish whom in a country where several dozens of people are being killed almost daily from rival groups action without accountability or checks from any authority in power.  Such incidents of killing also happened many times in the past and yet we failed to stop our youths, this is our failure.
We would rather like to demand answers from the government and particularly from our foreign ministry as to how so many illegal immigrants could slip the eyes of the airport immigration despite the government claim that airports are totally sealed for people going abroad without valid work permit. It is known to all that such exits of people, except over the past two months of the lockdown was almost regular in collaboration with airport immigration.
The world is now totally devastated due to the coronavirus pandemic. The death tolls in Bangladesh has crossed 550 as of Saturday while the informal estimate suggests several times more and the infection cases are over sixty thousands. Global death tolls have crossed 3.60 lakhs and are rising by several thousand daily. Every life has a value and those killed were dear to their families. But we are failing to save precious lives. The entire world is failing to do it.
What is important at this moment is to effectively check human trafficking when most migrant workers are returning home without jobs in their host countries. We must take vigorous steps now to create more jobs locally to stop our young people from falling into traffickers' trap for overseas jobs while the returnees should also get jobs in the nation for survival.

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