Hyderabad: Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has warned to cancel the licences of recruitment agencies for undertaking any overseas recruitment activities without proper documentation.

This follows reports of a large number of Indians from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh being duped and recruited illegally for overseas employment by illegal agents working in collaboration with their counterparts in the destination countries.

MEA has issued advisory cautioning employment agencies against any illegal overseas recruitment in Gulf nations.

"As you are aware, a large number of Indian nationals are duped and recruited illegally on a regular basis from selected districts both from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh for overseas employment by illegal agents working in collaboration with their counterparts in the destination countries," said Mukesh Kaushik, Protector of Emigrants (PoE), Hyderabad, MEA.

He said the modus operandi include the use of visit visa to overcome the requirement of obtaining Emergency Certificate in respect of Emigration Clearance Required(ECR) passports for ECR countries. "Even after paying a huge amount, these emigrants are often left at the mercy of agents or employers in the destination countries with no recourse to any redressal mechanism in case of any problem faced by them. Their passports are also held by the employer as a tool for exploitation. These helpless emigrants are ultimately rescued by the Indian Missions whenever such cases come to their notice," he said.

The PoE said Embassy of India, Kuwait, Embassy of India, Abu Dhabi and Consulate General of India, Dubai have regularly faced such cases and reporting details of both emigrants and illegal agents in India as well as the destination country involved. This includes a sizeable proportion of female workers, who are exposed to exploitation and destitution in a foreign land.

"These and other such cases have been shared with the local authorities including police and other organizations involved in ensuring safe and legal migration for immediate and effective action," he said.

Mukesh said exemplary efforts are being made by Andhra Pradesh Non-Residents Telugu Society(APNRT) in Andhra Pradesh to combat illegal trafficking and help Indian diaspora in difficulty. "While police authorities remain the main actor involved which ultimately take the action on the ground, it must be appreciated that the solution rests in a multi-pronged approach targeting select and different aspects of the emigration process with strong and regular communication and follow-up among different agencies," he said.

The PoE said as Registered Recruiting Agents(RA) are involved in ground operations and are well-aware of intricacies of recruitment at village level and actors involved both legal and illegal, registered RAs have a very important role to play both in promotion of safe and legal migration as well as in preventing illegal migration including identifying and apprehending illegal recruitment agents.

"The timely and regular sharing of information by RAs both on illegal overseas recruitment activities and agents involved would go a long way in this regard. The information can be shared with the PoE Hyderabad office in any manner discreetly which will be shared with local police and other authorities for effective and immediate action," he said.

The PoE said it is also informed that involvement of any registered RAs in illegal recruitment or association with illegal agents or undertaking any overseas recruitment activities without proper documentation in the shape of valid demand/power of attorney will attract penal action. "Any such RAs will be reported to Protector General of Emigrants(PGE) for consideration of suspension or cancellation of their Registration Certificate(RC)," he said.

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