Traumatised and penniless, 165 more Bangladeshi migrants from differ-ent countries -- Saudi Arabia, Iran, Libya, Iraq, and South Africa -- landed at the Dhaka airport yesterday.
Many among them were subjected to abuse and fraud in different coun-tries where they had gone in hopes of a better life.
Tanvir Hossain, assistant director of the Expatriate Welfare Desk at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, said, “They were victims of human trafficking. They lost their passports to brokers, abusive employers and some even landed in jail. Some were not provided with jobs as promised. So, none of them have their passports in possession.
“The Bangladesh consulates in respective countries issued them outpasses,” Tanvir told this paper.
Those who returned from Iran were victims of trafficking, while many left Libya due to escalation in Libya’s civil war, according to Brac officials assigned to assist the returnee migrants at the airport.
Md Shariful Islam Hasan, programme head, migration, Brac, said, “The returnees were served with iftar at the airport. Our team helped them contact their families. Psychological and medical care were provided.”
He said a rise in the number of migrants returning with outpasses had been noticed recently.
About 45 migrants returned to Dhaka from Oman and Iran on May 7, the first day of Ramadan. The next day, 215 people returned, mostly from Middle Eastern countries.
“In Bangladesh, we do not have proper arrangements to treat these mi-grants who usually come back in fragile states. They are broken, both fi-nancially and mentally,” said Shariful.
Only a handful of migration agencies were out there to help these re-turnees round the year, the Brac official added. The types of assistance range from providing medical care to helping the migrants reconnect with their families.
Brac’s Migration Programme unit had provided support to over 2,500 re-turnees in the last one year, Shariful said, adding, “It is difficult to run the show without financial backup. Support from all quarters at home and abroad are welcome.”