Almost half of boatpeople rescued by the Indonesian government are victims of human trafficking rings, says its national disaster management body, as the country is preparing to repatriate Bangladeshi migrants and resettle the Rohingyas.

JAKARTA: The Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB) announced on Sunday (May 24) nearly half of the close to 1,700 people it rescued from the sea are victims of human trafficking syndicates.

The announcement came on the heels of the agency’s coordination meeting, where 720 people were identified as originating from Bangladesh and seeking jobs. The rest were identified as Rohingyas who have fled from Myanmar due to internal conflicts.

Nearly 2,000 Bangladeshi and Rohingya migrants were rescued in the past two weeks and are now detained in the province of Aceh in Sumatra.

According to BNPB’s statement on Sunday, the migrants from Bangladesh will be repatriated within a month.

As for the Rohingya refugees, several local agencies are working with the United Nation’s refugee agency UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to provide them with protection and resettlement. -Sujadi Siswo, Channel NewsAsia

– CNA/pp