Bangladesh Civil Society for Migrants today expressed grave concern at the wretched condition of several hundred Bangladeshis stranded in different locations near the Croatia-Bosnia border.
In a statement, BCSM, a platform of leading civil society organisations in Bangladesh working on migration, urged the Bosnian government to provide food, shelter, and emergency medical services to protect them from the coronavirus pandemic and the cold weather.
It also urged Bangladesh government and international organisations including Red Cross, International Labour Organisation, and International Organisation for Migration to intervene immediately to protect them, reads the statement.
German broadcaster Deutsche Welle recently reported on the plight of the Bangladeshis, estimated at over 500, living in forests and in dilapidated buildings for several months now.
They were lured by “human traffickers” from Bangladesh with networks in the Middle East and Europe, BCSM said, citing DW report. Each of them reportedly paid $10,000 to $14,000 to reach a rich European country.
They made several futile attempts to enter Croatia but were apprehended by the Croatian security forces and pushed back to Bosnia.
Croatian border guards reportedly beat the Bangladeshis and snatched away their belongings, including money, mobile phone and winter clothes.
BCSM feared with the onset of winter, if no immediate action is taken to rescue them from the forest where they are living under an open sky and in makeshift tents, some may not survive.