Bangladesh nationals

Bangladeshi trafficking victims leave Vanuatu

The 101 migrants have been under government care in Port Vila since November, after they were freed from their traffickers by police.

A representative for the men, Shahin Khan, said a group of 16 migrants left Port Vila on a flight to Bangladesh Wednesday morning.

The International Organisation for Migration is paying for and arranging their flights.

Some of the men - who were brought to Vanuatu over the past two years - are refusing to return to Bangladesh.

IOM confirms Bangladeshi men trafficked to Vanuatu

The statement corroborates witness accounts from 101 migrants who said they were promised jobs, only to be tortured and enslaved.

Their alleged captors have since been detained and face hundreds of charges in Vanuatu, including human trafficking.

An IOM spokesperson said the organisation is now providing bi-weekly food rations to the victims - many of whom refuse to return home.

The spokesperson said it's working with Vanuatu's government to assist in a voluntary return of the migrants.

Bangladesh to assist trafficking victims in Vanuatu

A home ministry official, Abu Bakar Siddique, said a team from Bangladesh's nearest high commission in Australia would arrive in Vanuatu soon.

Mr Siddique said they would verify the nationality of the men in the first step towards taking them home.

The migrants were brought to Vanuatu over the past two years by a businessman who they claim tortured and enslaved them on arrival.

Rights groups say four people have been charged with trafficking and are before the Vanuatu Supreme Court.