Bhutanese exchange students are being extorted by overseas employment agencies and threatened into silence, according to representatives who spoke to the press Monday on behalf of the Parent's Committee of the Learn and Earn Program.

The exchange program gives students from Bhutan the opportunity to go to school and find a job in Japan.

More than 700 Bhutanese students have come to Japan thanks to the program, which was introduced by Bhutan's Ministry of Labor and Human Resources. However, the alleged suicide in December 2018 of a student in the program — a 24-year-old Bhutanese man named Sonam Tobgay — exposed its many problems.