Bangladesh government, civil society actors, and private sector partners have been urged to collectively support a rights-based approach to combat human trafficking.
The Bangladesh United Nations Network on Migration (BDUNNM) and members of the Counter-Trafficking in Persons Technical Working Group (CTIP TWG) have come up with the call, said an IOM media release.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children (Palermo Protocol), and on the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.
The government of Bangladesh demonstrated overall increasing efforts compared to the previous reporting period towards preventing human trafficking, earning itself an upgrade to Tier 2 in a ranking of countries fighting trafficking, says a recent US report.
These efforts included 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.
About 40 million people globally are victims of modern slavery or trafficking of which 70 percent are women and girls.
UN estimates that thousands are trafficked every year in Bangladesh.
In 2019, Bangladesh demonstrated commendable efforts to combat human trafficking compared to the previous reporting period.
Efforts included convicting more traffickers, modestly increasing the number of victims identified, acceding to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol, establishing seven Anti-Trafficking Tribunals as stipulated in Bangladesh’s anti-trafficking law.
Recently published reports from ILO, Unicef and UNODC present evidence on how the COVID-19 virus may have a detrimental effect on the trafficking situation in general.
UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh Mia Seppo said they must commend the work of the first responders to human trafficking --- people who identify, support, provide counseling and seek justice for survivors of trafficking simultaneously challenging the impunity of the traffickers.
“During the COVID-19 crisis, the essential role of first responders has become even more important as survivors of trafficking are increasingly at risk during the pandemic. Without the first responders, access to services and support would be minimal,” she added.
Home Affairs Additional Secretary Abu Bakr Siddique said the government of Bangladesh is actively taking steps to fight the horrific crime of human trafficking.
“We will continue working to follow up on the National Plan of Action for Prevention and Suppression of Human Trafficking 2018-2022, including strengthen our institutional capacity to protect survivors of trafficking, prevent human trafficking, and prosecute traffickers.,” he added.
BDUNNM will host a public webinar on the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons on Thursday.