Bangladesh draws action plan to curb human trafficking

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    Gulf Times – Qatar’s top-selling English daily newspaper - SriLanka/Bangladesh

    By Mizan Rahman
    Bangladesh’s border guards have rescued a group of 12 young girls who were being taken to India in the disguise of honeymooners with their pimps, the chief of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) said yesterday. Major General Anwar Hussain said they have rescued around 70 women and children near the Indo-Bangladesh borders from human traffickers in the last three months. “Traffickers are changing their tactics and routes, while poor girls and women are falling prey to their tactics who allure them with lucrative job offers abroad,” said the BGD chief, who recommended a number of steps, including awareness drive for women and children in 28 border districts, to combat human trafficking. General Anwar was speaking on the sidelines of the launching of a national action plan to combat trafficking for

    Home Minister Sahara Khatun, Foreign Minister Dipu Moni, Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Khandoker Mosharraf Hossain, Prime Minister’s Foreign Affairs Adviser Gowher Rizvi, police chief Hasan Mahmud Khandker, foreign secretary Mijarul Quayes, US ambassador to Bangladesh Dan W Mozina and home ministry senior official Kamal Uddin Ahmed, among others, spoke at the launch event. The chief BGB said the saddest part of the trafficking was that most of the young girls and women co-operate with traffickers in order to have a better life. “A concerted effort is needed to combat the crime,” he added.

    Dubbing trafficking as social crime, Kamal Uddin, additional secretary in the home ministry, said the human trafficking involves $13.6bn per year globally and it ranked third after drug and arms smuggling. The people being trafficked are generally allured by offers of high income and better life, but they end up as sex workers in foreign lands or their organs are removed for selling in international market.

    Gowher Rizhi said the rescued people, especially women and children, need to be repatriated in shortest possible time and habilitated accordingly considering their physical and mental trauma. He urged the NGOs to offer help to the victims of trafficking and motivate society to stand by them.

    Speaking on the fringes of the event, Dan Mozina said that America is happy to have good ‘partnership’ with the Bangladesh government on tackling human trafficking, but insisted on ‘quick repatriation’ of the victims identified in India or any other countries. “It’s a huge problem and it needs to be addressed by all parties concerned.”

    Dipu Moni said the country had been facing both financial and manpower shortages in missions abroad, despite strong commitments to
    combat this menace. She said Bangladesh would open 19 new missions abroad, two of them this year, and steps are underway to keep consular section online so that people get prompt services. Bangladesh is generally a source country for trafficking of women, children and men and tens of thousands of people are trafficked every year, mainly in the form of fraudulent recruitment for overseas jobs. The new national action plan is a follow-up of the government’s enactment of the Human Trafficking Deterrence and Suppression Ordinance
    of 2011.

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