Friday, August 7, 2020 | ePaper

Woes of our job seekers trafficked to Vietnam and other countries

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The stranded illegally trafficked workers recently  forcibly  entered  our embassy in Vietnam and demanded help to send them back to Bangladesh as they had no way to pay for the airfare. The embassy officials informed the foreign ministry but the foreign ministry's reply was the government had no funds for this kind of situation. It is inhuman and shocking. The first thing the embassy should have done was to look after the migrants and arrange for their return to Bangladesh. Our government forgets that it's their responsibility to create jobs for them. The government uses the foreign exchange   these people send to maintain our foreign exchange reserve. It is with their money that all luxurious   foreign trips the higher authorities enjoy are funded. The migrant workers when in foreign countries must be given first consideration for any sort of aid by the government. We do not yet know whether the arrangements have been made to have them back.
 A FEW dozen Bangladeshis are now complaining of being trafficked to Vietnam by an organised group operating in Bangladesh and the Southeast Asian country. They said they were charged Tk 4-5 lakh and promised jobs with monthly salary of $500-$600. However, once taken to Vietnam, they were outsourced to various companies for short periods and paid less than half the salaries they were promised, as per local media reports.
Vietnam is not a country where much work opportunities are available for prospective foreign workers. Brokers traffic Bangladeshi workers there with the hope of landing them in prosperous countries such as Australia, New Zealand and other parts of South-east Asia.
The migrant syndicates are unceasing in their insatiable thirst to make money. No doubt lured by the so-called success stories of our MP who made billions in Kuwait they never cease to find opportunities to make money off our countrymen.
But why isn't there a final solution to the problem? Why is it so difficult for the Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET) to actually cross check with the agencies who provide the workers with these so-called jobs and see if their employment promises actually live upto the actual job description?
No government has yet set up an agency which would actually determine whether the workers jobs actually lived upto the promises which they were made. In this time of emails and internet communications this is nothing short of unacceptable. BMET can very easily also unleash a host of other legislation---including banning these fake brokers by putting up a comprehensive database of known brokers.
These simple actions would go a long way towards saving the economic and social lives of thousands of individuals who are being cheated now and were cheated in the past of their life earnings or wealth. This is in our mind the least service the government could do to those millions of individuals who risk their life and limb to earn money which is the sole reason why our balance of payments balances every year.
We don't know if there is a connection or nexus between certain dishonest brokers and members of BMET but such connections must also be probed to find out if there is any truth to them. Surely it isn't too much to ask for that our hardest workers get the support to begin with which they should have in actuality got years ago?

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