Expressing frustration over the low conviction rate and prosecution of traffickers in Bangladesh, trade union leaders, labour lawyers and migrant rights activists on Wednesday urged the government to take measures to protect migrant workers from traffickers.
The government has to take tough actions against human traffickers, ensure exemplary punishment for them and justice for the trafficking victims, speakers said at an advocacy meeting on ‘Analysis and Application of the Prevention and Suppression of Human Trafficking Act, 2012’ organised by Solidarity Center- Bangladesh Office at a city hotel in Dhaka on Wednesday.
Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Ministry Additional Secretary Dr Ahmed Munirus Saleheen was chief guest at the programme moderated by Solidarity Center’s Senior Program Officer Dr Lily Gomes.
Saleheen said trafficking in migration has become a big challenge for the country but the government had been working relentlessly to stop trafficking in persons.
Referring to recently adopted Global Compact for Migration, he said the government was working to ensure safe, orderly, regular and responsible migration from Bangladesh in light of the GCM.
The stakeholders of the migration sector have to cooperate with the government to bring down trafficking, he added.
Solidarity Center Country Programme Director Christopher K Johnson said: “It is no longer sufficient for us to only consider what is best for our community. Our understanding of local law and international instrument is necessary if we seek to safeguard human rights within and outside of our national boarder.”
Advocate Saleha Begum, who made an analysis presentation on the Prevention and Suppression of Human Trafficking Act, 2012, said human trafficking is perpetrated in network and the Act has addressed every stage of the trafficking process.
Trade unionist and founder of the AWAJ Foundation Nazma Akter said four ministries including home, foreign, labour and expatriate welfare would have to work together to tackle human trafficking.
Labour lawyer AKM Nasim said the government would have to take steps to form ‘National Agency’ stipulated in the counter trafficking law to execute the legal instrument completely.
Bangladeshi Ovibashi Mohila Sramik Association Chairman Lily Jahan, BOMSA Director Sumaiya Islam, trade unionist Kamrul Hasan, Awaj Foundation Director Anisur Rahman Khan, WARBE Development Foundation Director Jasiya Khatoon and New Age journalist Md Owasim Uddin Bhuyan, among others, also spoke at the meeting.