A comprehensive framework for addressing the needs of migrant workers must be in place
The lure of a better life in a European country can be hard to resist, which explains why so many Bangladeshi migrant workers, believing promises from unscrupulous operators, make perilous journeys by sea towards that dream.
Thirty-seven Bangladeshi workers met their tragic demise after their boat capsized in the Mediterranean Sea on the way to Italy from Libya; this incident once again brings to light the need to crack down on human trafficking gangs that still operate within the country with impunity.
It goes without saying that these gangs never make good on their promises -- migrants, even in the event of surviving the journey, never get lucrative jobs in the destination country, and end up having to live in terrible hand-to-mouth conditions without legal status.
This is a worrying trend that must be addressed by the government without delay.
Firstly, what is it that causes thousands of people to make such a desperate journey, crammed in boats for long hours without adequate food and water?
Among the ones lucky enough to survive, many are kidnapped for ransom, or are sold into slavery.
It is imperative that the authorities systematically crack down on these illegal migration rings to stop this appalling exploitation of human beings, and protect our citizens.
For that to happen, a comprehensive framework for addressing the needs of migrant workers must be in place, and the crime of human trafficking must be punished to the fullest extent of the law.
Migrant workers, when they go abroad legitimately, enrich our nation by sending back money; we must do all we can to protect them, so they many travel for work through legitimate channels, and not be swayed by the false promises of human traffickers.