107 Bangladeshi Migrants Enslaved on Pacific Island

Published: 1 October 2023

By Shofi Ahmed


As many as 107 Bangladeshis have been reported to be trapped in a modern-day slavery ring on a remote island in the Pacific. This harrowing tale of exploitation and treachery serves as a grim reminder of the ongoing challenges faced by vulnerable migrant workers.

According to Al Jazeera’s investigation, these people from Bangladesh were promised a better life full of employment opportunities and economic stability. Tragically, their dreams were shattered when they arrived on an island that was supposed to be a pacific heaven but turned into a prison.


Several survivors interviewed by Al Jazeera revealed the harsh conditions they faced, including gruelling work hours, inhumane treatment, and little to no wages. These individuals were ruthlessly exploited to work in the fishing industry, subject to physical abuse, and denied basic human rights.


The recruitment process for this exploitation began in Bangladesh, where vulnerable individuals were lured with the promise of stable employment and flourishing livelihoods abroad. Desperate for a better future, they paid exorbitant fees to illegal labour brokers who acted as intermediaries.


Upon arriving on the pacific island, it became apparent that their dreams had been shattered. Their passports were confiscated, leaving them effectively trapped with no means of escape or communication with the outside world. These brutal tactics effectively silenced any possibility of reaching out for help.


The perpetrators behind this heinous crime are believed to be an international human trafficking network, which operates with impunity across borders. Their primary aim is to exploit the underprivileged and exploit their vulnerability for personal gain. In this instance, the exploited workers were primarily engaged in fishing, an industry with a long history of overlooking labour rights and safety standards.


The Bangladeshi government has been alerted about this issue, and they have vowed to take immediate action to rescue their citizens from this destitution. Authorities are collaborating with international agencies to ensure the safe repatriation of those affected and find the culprits responsible for this modern-day slavery ring.


This shocking incident underlines the need for global reforms in labour migration and the urgent implementation of stricter regulations to curb human trafficking. Governments must ensure that labour recruitment agencies are thoroughly vetted and held accountable for their actions, while also providing support and assistance to vulnerable migrants.


While efforts are underway to remedy the situation, the victims deserve justice and reparations for the suffering they have endured. It is crucial that international organisations and human rights advocates support the affected individuals who have survived this traumatic ordeal.


As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, stories like these remind us of our collective responsibility to safeguard the rights and dignity of all individuals, regardless of their nationality or socioeconomic status.


The plight of 107 Bangladeshi migrants held against their will on a remote Pacific island highlights the challenges faced by vulnerable workers in our society. Their harrowing experience calls for immediate action, collaboration, and comprehensive reforms to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.