'External factors' behind human trafficking!
We note with incredulity, that an official of the Bangladesh delegation at the 'Special Meeting on Irregular Migration in the Indian Ocean' in Bangkok has remarked that it is not poverty that primarily pushes people to fall into the hands of human traffickers. He alludes to mysterious 'external factors' without elucidating what they might be.
Such remarks make light of the hundreds of men, women and children who we know are economic migrants trying to escape the vicious cycle of poverty in their homeland. Nobody is denying that the country's growth rate has been fairly stable and that state efforts are being made to bring people above the poverty line. But to deny that it is the lack of adequate employment opportunities that drive thousands of our people to try to go to foreign lands in the hope of a better life is unacceptable. A dearth of job opportunities in the villages and farming crops often not paying off, prompts a large number of economic migrants to seek their fortune in foreign countries. The government's direct involvement in the recruitment process, keeping private recruitment agencies out of the picture, has not proved to be very successful. Rather, it has deprived a large number of job seekers from getting decent employment in countries that demand their labour. Most importantly, without accessible legal channels, many simple-minded villagers are lured by the false promises of human traffickers, taking treacherous journeys and ending up stranded in the seas or trapped in slave camps.
The government must abandon the ostrich approach and try to solve the problem by creating more jobs in the villages and allowing for an efficient recruiting system for legal migrants to take advantage of.