Steps needed against illegal migrants too
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said steps need to be taken not only against the middlemen but also against those who try to go abroad illegally risking their lives and tarnish the country's image.
She said this at a meeting with the labour and employment ministry officials at the secretariat during her visit there.
Hasina said these illegal migrants are putting their lives at risk. "I think measures need to be taken against them so that this illegal migration comes to an end."
She expressed her concern as hundreds of Rohingyas and some Bangladeshis have landed in overcrowded boats on the shores of various Southeast Asian countries. Human smugglers have abandoned the boats bound for Thailand and Malaysia because of crackdowns by the authorities.
Referring to growing illegal migration through sea routes, the prime minister said these people have no idea where they are actually heading for. "Now their bodies are being found in forests," she bemoaned.
The prime minister said the labour and employment ministry should take an initiative for publishing the negative sides of such illegal migration.
There was no need to go illegally by giving money to the middlemen and ultimately get trapped, she added.
Describing the various steps taken by her government for the welfare of migrants and expatriates, she said it was sad that some people were taking on an uncertain journey. "Why are they going? It's not right to say all are doing this because of poverty ... it seems they're chasing the golden deer, they think there is huge money abroad ... this is a sort of mental sickness."
Hasina said these people could do something to earn their livelihood in the country with the money they give to the middlemen. "They could lead a comfortable life and get better jobs here."
The prime minister said that the government has been able to regularise the status of 6.5 lakh illegal Bangladeshi workers in Malaysia and over 8 lakh in Saudi Arabia through fruitful discussions with respective governments.