Repatriation efforts underway for Bangladeshis trafficked to Vanuatu

The group of 101 men have been under state care in Vanuatu's capital Port Vila in November, after police raided several premises where they were being held under conditions described by victims as slavery.

Their alleged captors, Sekdah Somon and Buxoo Nabilah Bibi have been detained and face more than 300 charges, including human trafficking in connection with the case. The couple were last week denied bail by the Vanuatu High Court.

Bangladeshis trafficked to Vanuatu want resettlement in New Zealand or Australia

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 said four people had been charged with trafficking and are before the Vanuatu Supreme Court.

A spokesperson for the migrants, Shahin Khan, said they would rather be resettled than work in Vanuatu, where there was a shortage of jobs for locals.

Mr Khan said among the group were chefs, electricians, plumbers and other technical experts who could benefit New Zealand and Australia.