Posted by: africanpressorganization | 4 June 2010

Liberia / IOM Helps Trafficked Bangladeshi Workers to Return Home

 


 

 

 

Liberia / IOM Helps Trafficked Bangladeshi Workers to Return Home

 

 

MONROVIA, Liberia, June 4, 2010/African Press Organization (APO)/ — IOM Press Briefing Notes


IOM has helped a group of 39 Bangladeshi workers who were duped by unscrupulous agents into fictitious jobs in Liberia to return home.
 
The men, who came from different parts of Bangladesh, travelled with proper documentation to Liberia in November 2009, after being offered jobs allegedly paying USD 500-700 a month in Liberia’s emerging garment industry.
 
The migrants all paid USD 3,000-5,000 to agents to cover one-way tickets to Liberia and necessary paperwork. Some claimed that the agents had also promised them subsequent jobs in Europe.
 
They travelled by the air from Dhaka to Liberia via Dubai and Ghana, or via Qatar and Nigeria. Soon after their arrival in the Liberian capital Monrovia, they were taken to the northern town of Ganta, which borders the Republic of Guinea.
 
After their arrival in Ganta it became clear that they had been cheated and trafficked for labour exploitation.

But in March they were rescued by Liberian government officials, in collaboration with the IOM Office in Monrovia, members of the Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force and the UNMIL Bangladeshi peacekeeping contingent.

“These people were rescued through good inter-agency cooperation and as a direct result of the vigilance shown by the community and law enforcement officers who had attended IOM counter-trafficking training workshops,” says IOM Liberia Chief of Mission Ferdinand Paredes.

Acting upon a tip-off from local residents, the Liberian Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization subsequently arrested five Bangladeshis and one Liberian national on charges of human trafficking.
 
After their rescue, the trafficked men stayed in a government shelter in Monrovia, where they received direct assistance from IOM, including food, clothing, and medical assistance and counselling.  

On Tuesday June 1st they flew home to Dhaka, with the agreement of the Liberian and Bangladeshi governments. Their travel was arranged by the Bangladeshi Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training and the Ministry of Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment.

Welcoming their return home and the prosecution of their traffickers by the Liberian authorities, IOM South Asia Regional Representative Rabab Fatima said: “IOM is supporting Bangladesh’s efforts to improve recruitment monitoring systems, develop ethical guidelines for recruiting agencies, and introduce a better complaints mechanism for people like this who become victims of trafficking.”


SOURCE 

International Office of Migration (IOM)


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