You’ve seen it all in the papers, but what I have seen and heard is a small but important part of the jigsaw.
In the poor villages a trafficker turns up. He/she tells them that if they send someone to the UK or Australia their financial problems could be answered. First give the traffickers any valuables you have and then they have a friend who will lend the villagers the rest of the money they need. They have no other information and they have heard, or think they have of that other families who have become much better off.They give everything and more, then off goes the selected young person who has no job or future in their village.
They wait and the tiniest amount of money arrives as the victim desperately tries to send something from where ever they washed up. The village struggles on to pay its debts, still hoping.
In the schools I have visited I ask heads what their pupils will do when they leave school. “They will go abroad to the UK or Australia,” is the response and the students believe this is where their future lies.
The drivers, shop workers or anyone else you meet are coming abroad to find a better future. I have talked to workers and struggled to get over to them that they could end up cold, without food, and friendless. They look at me, dewy eyed and say, “but it is my dream.”
I have talked to teachers and told them the future of their school children is where they are and a hush, cuts through the room. Without this dream what are they educating these children for. There is little but drudgery for them where they are and they are lovely intelligent children.
I still think we can educate teachers to tell their children and the children can educate the villagers. When the traffickers come calling they have some resistance. Trafficking is big, easy money. Why wouldn’t they do it? Confronting them could cost you more than money.
This is migrants and not refugees, they are a another tragic story.