Certain quarter smearing Dhaka’s success in human trafficking control: MoFA
DHAKA, 6 July 2020 (BSS) – Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) today expressed its suspicion that a certain quarter is trying to tarnish Bangladesh’s recent success in controlling human trafficking through threatening to attack Bangladesh missions abroad involving illegal Bangladeshi migrants.
“There are reasons to believe that certain quarters are purposefully doing harm to the Government of Bangladesh against the backdrop of its recent success (upgraded to tire-2 in TIP),” a foreign ministry press release said here.
It noted that Bangladesh government as a recognition to all its hard work has recently been upgraded to tier-2 in the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) country report released by the US State Department.
The foreign ministry issued the release to clarify a recent incident of attempt to illegally occupy the Bangladesh mission in Vietnam by some undocumented illegally Bangladeshi nationals.
According to the release, On July 2, 27 undocumented Bangladeshi nationals who were lured by human traffickers to Vietnam in the recent past attempted to forcibly enter the premise of Bangladesh Embassy in Hanoi, in demand to send them back Dhaka at free of cost.
Later, they were sent to a hotel, provided by the Vietnam authorities, but they are now threatening in the social media that if their demands are not met, they will similarly occupy all Bangladesh embassies abroad.
They went live on social media and made derogatory remarks against the country. Such subversive activities staying in a friendly foreign country is not acceptable by any standard, said the foreign ministry.
“None of them (27 undocumented Bangladeshi) has Bangladeshi passport or any ID, even they are not disclosing the names of their traffickers rather trying to conduct a social media campaign with misleading information that the government is not helping them,” foreign minister Dr AK Abdul Momen told BSS regarding the issue.
The minister alleged that a new organization name ‘Prabashi Odhikar Parishad’ has been involved in patronizing those illegal migrants as they are threatening that they could attack all Bangladeshi missions abroad.
“It is very unfortunate … this kind of act in foreign land tarnishes Bangladesh’s image while our hard-earning success in curbing human trafficking is being internationally recognized,” Momen said.
The foreign minister said those people who illegally go abroad should also be taken behind bar along with the traffickers as both are responsible for tarnishing the image of Bangladesh abroad.
Describing the fact, the foreign ministry’s release said in close collaboration between Bangladesh Embassy in Hanoi and the Vietnamese government a special flight was operated on the Hanoi-Dhaka route on July 2.
Eleven Bangladesh nationals returned here from Vietnam availing that flight while those 27 people were also listed for repatriation.
However, they declined to avail the flight stating that Bangladesh government has to pay for their airfare but the government does not have a provision to pay for the airfare of returning illegal workers, the foreign ministry said.
In all repatriation flights, it is the passengers themselves who pay for their passage rather than from tax payers money and even in case of flights carrying workers, the employer country pays for the airfare.
“They do not fall under either category as they did not go with employment visas; they went to Vietnam as visitors,” the foreign ministry clarified.
After the departure of the flight to Dhaka, later in the day those 27 Bangladeshi nationals tried to occupy the Bangladesh mission in Hanoi, which is a violation of both international law and Vietnam’s local law.
“These unruly people first declined to fly home. Secondly, if they had anything to say, they could state that in a disciplined manner rather than attempting to forcibly occupy the embassy in a foreign country tarnishing the image of the country,” said the ministry.
Vietnam is not a country where much work opportunities are available for prospective foreign workers, it said adding that brokers traffic Bangladeshi workers there in the hope of landing them in prosperous countries such as Australia, New Zealand and other rich parts of South East Asia.
The foreign ministry also mentioned that law enforcement agencies in Bangladesh are already working to nab the traffickers who were involved in illegally sending people to Vietnam.
Mentionable that because of the flight suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it will take time to resume flights on the Dhaka-Hanoi route, said the release.