2020-07-07 06:06:03 BdST

Certain quarters trying to tarnish Bangladesh's image: MoFA

Bangladesh has said that certain quarters are trying to tarnish its image against the backdrop of its recent success in curbing human trafficking.

"There are reasons to believe that," said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a clarification mentioning that law enforcing agencies in Bangladesh are already working to arrest traffickers involved in illegally sending people to Vietnam.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs came to know from its Mission in Hanoi that 27 Bangladeshis who were lured by human traffickers to Vietnam recently are now temporarily staying at a hotel provided by the Vietnam authorities.

Those people who illegally go abroad lured by traffickers are also responsible for tarnishing the image of Bangladesh abroad, MoFA said. 

Bangladesh government, as recognition to all its hard work, has recently been upgraded to tier-2 in the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) country report released by US State Department.

Vietnam is not a country where much work opportunities are available for prospective foreign workers. 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, according to the MoFA.

In the close collaboration between Bangladesh Embassy in Hanoi and the Vietnamese government, a special flight was operated in the Hanoi-Dhaka-Hanoi route on July 2.

Eleven Bangladeshi returned from Vietnam on that flight.

Twenty-seven people were also listed for repatriation but they declined to avail the flight stating that Bangladesh government has to pay their airfare.

Bangladesh does not have a provision to pay the airfare of returning illegal workers, said the government.

In all repatriation flights, it is the passengers themselves who pay for their passage rather than from tax payers money.  

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.

After the departure of the flight to Dhaka, later in the day on July 2, they attempted to forcibly enter the premise of Bangladesh Embassy in Vietnam which is a violation of both international law and Vietnam’s local law, MoFA said.

These "unruly people" first declined to fly home, and 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 MoFA. 

They are now threatening on social media that if their demands are not met they will similarly occupy all Bangladesh embassies abroad, the statement reads.

They went live on social media and made derogatory remarks against the country.

Such subversive activities staying in friendly foreign country are not acceptable by any standard, MoFA said.

Because of the flight restrictions caused by COVID-19 pandemic, it will take time to resume flights on the Dhaka-Hanoi route.

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