The US government has recognised Bangladesh’s Tariqul Islam as the 2022 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report Hero for his role in preventing human trafficking and rehabilitating the victims.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken honoured six individuals from around the world as 2022 TIP Report Heroes in an event hosted by the US Department of State in Washington DC on Tuesday.
These individuals include NGO workers, lawmakers, government officials, survivors of human trafficking and citizens concerned.
Tariqul has been serving as the Bangladesh representative of the UK-based NGO,Justice & Care, since 2017, where he currently serves as country director.
Citing Tariqul’s role, the report said he is a tireless advocate for victims of human trafficking whose work has helped increase the Bangladesh government’s capacity to investigate and prosecute traffickers.
He has led anti-trafficking organisations that have facilitated assistance to more than 2,000 trafficking victims, it added.
Tariqul has worked meticulously with victims of human trafficking to either provide or connect them to the services they need in many of these cases.
“For example, he has organised cross-border consultations between Bangladesh and India to increase collaboration on victim repatriation efforts,” reads the report.
Additionally, his close working relationship with the Ministry of Home Affairs helped facilitate a strong partnership between the public and private sector, including by helping the ministry draft its National Plan of Action (2018-2022) to combat human trafficking, the report said.
“Tariqul’s trusted advice, authentic perspective, and frontline experiences make him a leader and respected voice in shaping Bangladesh’s response to trafficking,” it said.
While delivering his speech, Tariqul said, “It’s an honour to be part of a small network of individuals who have been recognised in the fight against human trafficking. But of course, I know the survivors are the real heroes.”
“The TIP Report Heroes give us hope. The network of heroes is a reminder of the power each of us has to respond to the growing issues of human trafficking,” he added.