Thursday, June 21, 2007

Human Trafficking

Recently many of the Gulf Countries were black listed for Human Trafficking. Wikepedia, gives the following explanation for the same.

Trafficking of human beings is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of people for the purpose of exploitation. Trafficking involves a process of using illicit means such as threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability.

Exploitation includes forcing people into prostitution or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs. For children exploitation may include also, illicit international adoption, trafficking for early marriage, recruitment as child soldiers, for begging or for sports (such as child camel jockeys or football players).[1]

UN has recommended certain principles and guidelines on Human Rights and Human Trafficking.

Well, this is a fact and we see them around daily. Most of them are from Bangladesh and their monthly wage can start from a mere KD 10/- (35 USD). There isn’t anything much one can do with this money. And most of them would have paid 1-2 Lakh(1500USD) Bangladeshi Taka to secure a Visa! Which means they are bonded for life if they wish to repay this amount. One can see them as scavengers, looking for pepsi cans, bottles etc. to be sold to the recycling companies. If they are not doing this they could be seen selling CD’s, Vegetables and fish. In this process, they are often rounded up by the Municipal authoriites or even by the locals. I myself witnessed a Bangladeshi being manhandled while selling CD's. After the manhandling all his Cd's were taken away by the local youth! But during the process, this over zealous guy was shouting that it is "aram" for he is selling porn and ruining the youth!

And yes, some run brothels and even act as spies for the local police.

As they say, sometimes we let ourselves be abused, and this has happened in these Gulf countries too.

One cannot blame just the local government alone. Neither the Indian government nor the Bangladesh government are serious in controlling this menace. In this case the Philippine Embassy is the strongest and they have taken all the measures to help their citizens. As for Indians, they are well aware of the situation in the Gulf, but are still willing to take the risk. Either they are too frustrated back home or they are highly optimistic! Most of the recruitment offices are run by expatriates and hence they are the masters and the teachers of this game. For construction jobs the if the Ministry is paying 150 KD for the labourers, the sub contractor will pocket a good percentage and pay the workers a miniscule amount. Even if they are provided accommodation, the same will be cramped and horrible.

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