Tricks Of Traffickers

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Remittances, sent by Nepali workers from abroad, provide a lifeline to the national economy. But this contribution is not without a huge socio-economic cost. The migrant workers are compelled to get involved in dirty, difficult and dangerous jobs. The insecure jobs have cost the lives of thousands of Nepalis over the years. Every day at least three bodies of Nepali land at the Tribhuvan International Airport. This is indeed a tragedy of Nepali youths forced to make fortune in foreign land owing to poverty, ignorance, lack of better education and employment opportunity at home. As going abroad becomes a compulsion rather than a wish, the Nepali workers make every effort to join the international labour market. This is a reason why they fall prey to fraudsters and deceptive agents of manpower companies. They are easily trapped by the traffickers that work on the pretext of offering lucrative foreign jobs. 

Nepalis have been trafficked for forced labour, domestic work, prostitution and organ extraction, among others. But various reports show that migrant workers form the majority of them. The agents lure them into foreign jobs with false promise but they eventually face a double whammy. On the one hand, they lose money to middlemen, and on the other, they are detained by the security forces for trying to go abroad on the basis of forged documents. According to a news report of this daily on Wednesday, Anti Human Trafficking Bureau (AHTB) under Nepal Police rounded up around 217 Nepalis from the TIA this week (August 24-29). They were flying to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) under visit visa. Most of them were found using fake documents to meet stated criteria so that they can easily get visa. Police say the victims are enticed to work in their desired destinations but they are likely trafficked to other countries, to be physically and sexually exploited or left stranded in foreign lands. 

Curbing the trafficking of innocent Nepalis has become a tricky task for the security personnel. Many of them know that their documents are fake but they do not hesitate to resort to forgery to fulfill their ambition to land in foreign nations. As they keep mum about the illegally obtained visa, the investigation process becomes complicated. They believe that they are not cheated unless they are left high and dry abroad. In many cases, they fight legal battle against the agents when they return home. A woman, who was rescued from Dubai one year ago, recounted that her agent did not only take all money the company provided for free visa and ticket but also charge money from her and got her one year's salary to her utter dismay.

Most of the victims complained against the fraudsters only after they are left in the lurch abroad. It is necessary to generate awareness campaign among the migrant workers that they should apply only through registered manpower companies. An individual, who go abroad through due legal process, can take support from the embassy or local authorities, if they are in trouble. They are unlikely to be cheated by the agents when they follow due process stated by the Department of Foreign Employment. The government should also equip the related agencies with necessary resources and implement the 18-point criteria for visit visa strictly. Likewise, steps should be taken to do away with socio-economic inequality and vulnerabilities to control migrant trafficking. 

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