Bangladesh has always been one of the world's poorest countries, with around 40 per cent of its population living below the poverty line.
The current global recession is making matters much worse, especially for families reliant on money sent home by relatives who had gone to work abroad.
Now, as those overseas jobs have begun to disappear, many migrant workers have become more desperate, paying large fees to agents who promise work permits and employment in places such as Singapore and Malaysia.
Yet, all too often the work fails to materialise, and wages are left unpaid.
Lynn Lee and James Leong have been investigating a trade that has become big business for some, but leaves others in despair.
This episode of People & Power aired from August 19, 2009.
Source: Al Jazeera