“The media should be cautious while publishing and airing overseas job advertisements,” said D. Jai Sankar, director of protector of emigrants (PoE), a body under the Union ministry of overseas Indian affairs.

Speaking at a workshop on migrant issues, Mr. Jai Sankar said, “Many local TV channels in the State catering to blocks and taluks air advertisements of jobs overseas which are placed by unauthorised and unregistered agents. We are trying our best to address this issue.”

He explained that several people who watched these advertisements applied for these jobs and went overseas, where they were invariably exploited at various levels.

Most regular channels are free of such advertisements; the problem is with the local TV channels only and hence, there is an attempt to sensitise cable TV operators who air such advertisements as there is great risk in accepting them, he added.

“The media has a larger social responsibility when it comes to such issues. We had asked the Press Council of India to issue certain guidelines and this was done back in the 1990s. So, as per norms, they must accept advertisements only from agents who have valid licenses,” Mr. Jai Sankar said.

In many cases, those going abroad were not very educated. Going abroad became an issue of social prestige for them. But due to lack of awareness, many ended up in situations where they were exploited, he said.

For the past year, PoE in coordination with the National Domestic Workers’ Movement has been counselling people before they leave the country. “We enlighten them about the do’s and don’ts,” Mr. Jai Sankar added.

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