Few days back, Syed Manzoorul Islam, Professor Department of English, University of Dhaka, came to Cox’s Bazar and rambled to marine drive for tête-à-tête.
During the journey, our man on wheel pointed to a place and charismatically said “it is Malaysian airport”. “People board for their Malaysian flight from here”, he added. I stopped chuckling but the professor and other commuters’ curiosity made us tell about the scenario of that vicinity. Our storyteller mesmerised us by picking his best shot about human trafficking. Maybe, sometimes veracity seems bogus when reality appears the opposite.
We came to know about the Dalali (intermediation) rate for trafficking a single person to the destination, and enjoyed few stories that could be captured in celluloid.
Here I share two with the readers. Probably, not the best one but may fulfil readers’ kitty of jokes to serve other.
Story one — This is the story of a newspaper reporter, who himself became a news headline in the front page. The reporter went to Teknaf to collect news on human trafficking and interviewed local people. But on his return, he was detained by the human traffickers and forcibly put on board and sent to Thailand in a fishing trawler. Maybe you are laughing a loud by imagining the bamboozled scenario in front of your eyes!
Story two — A group of people, seemingly from Myanmar, landed on Cox’s Bazar seashore at midnight and started running. One of those was stopped by local people for interrogating as to why they had been running. “We are in Thailand and running to save our life. We were ordered to run or we would be shot by local police” was his answer.
The answer might at first allure you to laugh but then your heartbeat surely throbs for them.
Let’s dig far in the matter. Human trafficking entices criminal gangs most because of its high-profit-low-penalty trade off policy. The United Nations estimates that “profits from human trafficking rank it on top three revenue sources for organised crime, after trafficking in narcotics and arms”.
The crime of trafficking is mainly committed against persons who are socially and economically vulnerable. Economic underdevelopment generates huge exodus of men and women to affluent countries. As far as trafficking in women and children is concerned, it necessarily involves a gender dimension and a negative consequence on the rights of women and children as almost all the women-victims are trafficked for the immoral purposes of flesh trade, or child-victims are sold as suppliers of human organs.
Trafficking is an organised million-dollar illicit business stemming out from a variety of reasons like moral, legal, social and economic problems. It cannot be expected this complicated crime will go away overnight with the enactment of a tougher law. We need to keep in mind that when the government is trying to be more proactive to deal with crimes, the criminals are getting smarter with an abrupt but effective change in their techniques.
I think the media has an important role in this regard. They can allocate more time and space to campaign against the heinous crime. It is also necessary to create a pressure on the government to strictly enforce the existing laws and ensure strict legal steps against the traffickers, apart from creating anti-trafficking networks and taking a rehabilitation programme for those who are being rescued, particularly women and children.
For last couple of days, Social media has been thundered by news of finding a missing boy in Thailand refugee camp, who had been missing for thirteen months from Saint Martin. Parents suspect that he was kidnapped and had been captivated for ransom. The authenticity of that news is not confirmed but we will not keep our emotion in check if it happens in real.