The Libyan coast is being used as the main route of trafficking in Bangladesh nationals to Italy, said the victims on return home.
On tourist visas, those victims from Bangladesh were sent to the Middle Eastern countries and then they were taken to the Libyan coast for crossing the sea by the agents of the rackets active in different countries.
Anwar (not real name) of Madaripur returned home from the Libyan coast after ending his unsuccessful journey to Italy in January.
A broker took Tk 6.5 lakh from him for arranging his journey Libya promising that he would be sent to Italy and get a job there after paying Tk 2 lakh to another broker in Libya, he said.
By Air, he did not face any problem to reach in Libya as all transits and airport immigration had been well managed by the traffickers, he told Migration News in an interview.
Around 81 per cent of Bangladeshi workers currently living in Italy were forced to migrate to the country from Libya through crossing the Mediterranean Sea after they had fallen victim of trafficking, according to a study revealed on May 27, 2018.
Ovibashi Karmi Unnayan Programme with support of British High Commission conducted the study on titled ‘Gambling on life: the plight of Bangladeshi migrants crossing the Mediterranean.’
The study says that 16 per cent of the migrants had been deliberately recruited from Bangladesh for countries like Sudan, Egypt, and then sent to Italian maritime via Libyan Coast.
It says rest 3 per cent of Bangladeshi migrants went to Italy from other EU countries, like Turkey and Greece, in an attempt to regularise their documents.
According to the study, more than 79.3 per cent of Bangladeshi migrants knew that they might have to embrace death in the sea but they boarded on the boats for Italy for the sake of their lives and family.
The survey conducted between January 2013 and December 2017 found that most of the migrants were from Madaripur, Shariatpur, Comilla and Noakhali.
The average cost for migration to Italy was around $8,000, the study said.
OKUP chairman Shakirul Islam told Migration News that due to lack enforcement of the counter trafficking laws the human traffickers were feeling encouraged to commit the crimes.
He requested the government to take stern action traffickers through quick disposal of the cases filed under Prevention and Suppression of Human Trafficking Act.
Expatriates Welfare Overseas Employment Ministry’s additional secretary for monitoring and enforcement Nazibul Islam said that they were yet to get any information about the trafficking to Libya.
‘There is no chance to send worker to Libya on job visas as the market is now closed,’ he said, adding that ministry taskforce usually take action on basis of the complaints or information provided by victims or other persons.