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Human trafficking means modern slavery: Miller

  • Diplomatic Correspondent
  • 13 January, 2022 12:00 AM
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US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl Miller on Wednesday said the fight against human trafficking in Bangladesh is a priority for the US and his country will help strengthen the justice sector’s ability to prosecute offenders. 

“Human trafficking is modern slavery and it has no place in our world,” said Miller. The US will be a partner of the Government of Bangladesh to end trafficking in persons.  

As part of the initiative, Earl Miller and Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Anisul Huq inaugurated a workshop organised by USAID-funded Fight Slavery and Trafficking-In-Persons (FSTIP) project for judges presiding over human trafficking tribunals.

Strong collaboration between the United States and Bangladesh led to the establishment of seven special tribunals to prosecute trafficking-in-persons (TIP) and the implementation of the five-year National Plan of Action to combat human trafficking, said a press release of the US Embassy in Dhaka.

Ambassador Miller in his speech highlighted US support for Bangladesh’s counter-human trafficking programmes.

“Working with you to fight human trafficking is a priority of the US Embassy. This workshop reaffirms our commitment to partner with the Government of Bangladesh, civil society, the private sector, and trafficking survivors to end trafficking in persons,” said the US Ambassador.

Despite the Prevention and Suppression of Human Trafficking Act of 2012, American and Bangladeshi law enforcement and judicial partners recognise prosecution and conviction rates for human trafficking can be improved.

USAID’s $10 million FSTIP project is helping Bangladesh more effectively prosecute and convict human traffickers though training like this week’s workshop for justice sector officers, prosecutors, and judges.

Bangladesh’s attainment of Tier 2 status for the last two consecutive years in the US Department of State’s TIP Report demonstrates the growing success of the US/Bangladesh partnership combating human trafficking.

With the US support, the Government of Bangladesh has strengthened the justice sector’s ability to prosecute trafficking offenders.

In the past five years, USAID has trained 569 judges and more than 1,000 police, public prosecutors, and lawyers on human trafficking issues so trafficking perpetrators can be caught, tried, and punished.

US programmes and funding also support community organisations to provide shelter, healthcare, counseling, life-skills and entrepreneurship training, and job placement to over 3,000 trafficking survivors.

Minister Anisul Huq, Md Golam Sarwar, Secretary, Law and Justice Division, Ministry of Law, Justice, and Parliamentary Affairs, Justice Nazmun Ara Sultana, Director General, Judicial Administration Training Institute (JATI), Md Golam Kibria, Senior District and Sessions Judge, Director of Training, JATI, also spoke at the event.