Friday, August 7, 2020 | ePaper

Report doesn't prove our people are not vulnerable to trafficking

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Poverty and unemployment are no help for fighting trafficking. Then there is corruption in powerful positions to promote Bangladesh's position that has been upgraded to Tier-2 from the watch list in the US 'Trafficking in Persons' report released on Friday. The government has demonstrated increasing efforts compared to the previous reporting period, helping Bangladesh get upgraded to Tier 2. It, however, made it clear the government of Bangladesh does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so.
The government said if we could not upgrade our position it would be bad for us as we would be deprived of many development assistance from the US and development agencies like the World Bank and the IMF. The efforts for which Bangladesh is upgraded includes convicting more traffickers, modestly increasing the number of victims identified, acceding to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol, and at the close of the reporting period establishing seven anti-trafficking tribunals as stipulated in Bangladesh's anti-trafficking law. In addition, the government continued to allow humanitarian aid access to the Rohingya camps.
However, the report is still critical of the inactions, which the government needs to address. Law enforcement decreased investigations into trafficking cases, continued to deny credible reports of official complicity in trafficking, and despite hundreds of credible reports of forced labour and sex trafficking of Rohingya did not open investigations to verify these reports. While international organisations identified more than 1,000 potential Bangladeshi forced labour victims in Saudi Arabia during the reporting period, the government did not report efforts to provide the majority with services or criminally investigate allegations of forced labour. The report said Bureau of Manpower and Employment Training allowed recruitment agencies to exclude from required pre-departure trainings information on human trafficking. It blamed that Bangladesh government for continuing to allow employers to charge high recruitment fees to migrant workers and for not consistently taking action against illegal recruitment sub-agents, which left workers vulnerable to traffickers.
The government cannot have a successful role in fighting trafficking where poverty is acute and unemployment is huge. Corruption is so overpowering that human trafficking shall remain as easy business. The helpless refugees are now most vulnerable.

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