A recently published report of the UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2022 has shed light on the alarming practice of human traffickers laying traps on social media platforms to lure the victims. Although human trafficking gangs have existed in Bangladesh for decades, the menace has increased further in recent years thanks to social media. Mostly running as recruiting agencies in social media sites, the traffickers offer lucrative job opportunities abroad to entice the people, with the women and children being the most of the victims, as per the report.
Apart from selling the victims abroad as bonded labour, there is also the case of internal trafficking. Those who are trafficked in locally are sold to begging or prostitution rings. Some are even sold to organ trafficking rings. Thus, once the victims are falling prey to human traffickers, they have to go through an unending and vicious cycle of exploitation, torture and many other disturbing things.
As the UNODC report shows, the rise of cyber-enabled trafficking is high, which is an indication that human traffickers are becoming more tech-savvy and are able to use technology successfully to their advantage. The solution, therefore, should be found in raising awareness among social media users so that they can identify and report about any potential threat on the digital space. The cyber unit of the police should also utilise technology to enhance their vigilance, detect, investigate and help prosecute traffickers. Unless concerted efforts are made, the rings of human traffickers will proliferate only to victimise more and more poor gullible people. Additionally, rehabilitation of the victims of human trafficking should be given due attention.