A lot of Bangladeshi people try to go to Europe every year illegally by crossing through the Middle East and by sea to change their fortunes.
However, most of them do not reach Europe. Many get stuck midway, in the Middle East. Some even lose their lives in the process.
There is no exact figure on how many Bangladeshis have died in previous years trying to get to Europe through illegal means. Every year, the number of Bangladeshi families losing their loved ones is rising.
Some people do manage to overcome the difficulties and reach Europe. But after completing the terrible journey, do they get the good life that they expect?
The answer is a big no. They do not get the usual facilities that legal expatriate workers get in Europe because these people have chosen to get there illegally.
Even after working there for many years, most of them do not get the opportunity to legalise their status.
People in Bangladesh dream of changing their fortunes in any way they can. Human traffickers in Bangladesh use this to their advantage and trap people by showing them big dreams.
Some human traffickers in the Middle East are linked with Bangladeshi traffickers in doing this work. Both the parties benefit big time by doing this.
Human traffickers in Bangladesh convince people to go through illegal routes by telling them lies. They send people to war-torn countries in the Middle East. After the people reach in the Middle East, they get taken as hostages and are brutally tortured for ransom money.
Their families in Bangladesh get desperate. They sell the properties they own to pay the ransom. If a family does not own enough money or property, they just give up hope for the life of their loved ones.
I have seen such incidents in the past. Some traffickers from Bangladesh sent people to Iraq and sold them to other traffickers in Iraq. The Bangladeshi people were tortured inhumanely for ransom money. After their families in Bangladesh paid the ransom, the traffickers released them and divided the money between the two parties.
This is the actual situation people get into if they make a journey through illegal routes. It is just like the slave trade of primitive ages.
Most of the Bangladeshis who were killed in Libya on Thursday were young people. A lot of news about these brokers was spread on TV or in newspapers.
So even after seeing this news, knowing about the horrible fate awaiting Bangladeshi people who illegally try to go to Europe, how is it that people still step towards death at the instigation of brokers? How do these traffickers survive?
In today's age of advanced information technology, anyone can easily see news about the whole world from any country. At least that is what we think.
But it is a bit different in Bangladesh. Many rural area's do not yet have high-speed internet. Many people do not even own televisions as they are poor. The rural people of Bangladesh are still not very aware of what goes on in the world because of the lack of various facilities.
Human traffickers in Bangladesh always survive because there are so many loopholes in Bangladeshi law. They continue doing this slavery business without fear of consequences or of facing justice.
After witnessing the recent event in Libya, one thing seems to be for sure that the human traffickers should be punished severely. They may stop conning people and putting them in danger only when they see the law is strict on them.
But it is more necessary to make our rural people aware of these situations. Only when the people are fully aware, this kind of horrible incidents will not be repeated.
I express my deepest condolences for the lives lost in Libya. I hope all the people become aware, and help other people who are not. It is the people themselves who have to destroy this business of human trafficking.