Steps to prevent human trafficking on the cards

Staff Correspondent

16 September, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque on Sunday said Bangladesh has decided to ratify Palermo Protocol to prevent human trafficking.

Instrument of ratification on the protocol is being finalised and human traffickers would face punitive action soon, he said. Foreign Secretary made the comments while inaugurating a workshop on comprehensive responses to trafficking in persons at a city hotel.

International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Bangladesh organised the event in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA).

UN Resident Coordinator Mia Seppo, Political Counselor of the US Embassy Brent Christensen, IOM Bangladesh Chief of Mission Girogi Gigauri and Additional Secretary of Home Ministry Md Abu Bakar Siddique also spoke on the occasion.

Foreign secretary said the mode of trafficking is changing rapidly. If trafficking is combated in an old fashion, it cannot be checked.  “Trafficking is a complex issue. Trafficking should be brought under the umbrella of migration. You can’t talk about migration unless you talk about trafficking. We want to reduce vulnerabilities and we have taken lot of initiatives,” he added.

Palermo Protocol is a United Nations (UN) protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in human beings, especially women and children, supplementing the UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime and its Protocols.

Speaking on the occasion, Political Counselor of the US Embassy Brent Christensen said they view trafficking in person as a serious crime. Bangladesh was ranked Tire 2 Watch list in the US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report 2019 which is a concern.

“We believe Bangladesh has a constructive action plan to prevent human trafficking. The focus now must be implementation,” said Brent Christensen.

UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh Mia Seppo said the efforts to prevent trafficking in persons require creative and coordinated responses. State must also do more to support the victims and survivors of trafficking.

Lack of job opportunities, poor awareness on safe migration, high cost of migration are some of the pull factors to irregular migration, IOM Bangladesh Chief of Mission Girogi Gigauri said.

“As a coordinator of UN Migration Network, we are prioritising the rights and wellbeing of migrants and their communities of destination, origin, and transit. And, we are always with the government to end human trafficking,” Girogi Gigauri added.