Human trafficking questions the basic values of humanity including our inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family. Human trafficking is grounded in unfair labour, gender and class relations. Yet, anti-trafficking measures have failed to address the causes of vulnerability, particularly for women and girls in the informal sector.
Although the government has made significant efforts to prevent human trafficking in Bangladesh, the organized criminals involved in this heinous crime are still remain out of the reach of the law enforcing agencies.. Experts are of the opinion that the perpetrators involved in human trafficking, in most of the cases , been able to escape because of lack of evidence or by any other loopholes of the law. Hence, the authorities concerned should look forward to take quick prosecution to avert human trafficking.
Reportedly, number of expatriate female workers especially from Middle Eastern countries has alarmingly increased over the last few years due to severe exploitations by their employers. In most of the cases, they were allured with fake assurance of high salary and other benefits. However, the reality is completely different when they land in the country of employment.
About 2906 female workers took shelter in the safe home of the Bangladesh Embassy in Riyadh of Saudi Arabia last year having suffered from various types of exploitation, and around 1000 female workers have returned home because of serious physical and mental torture.
Experts assert that the trafficking and exploitation are being persisted under the guise of labour migration whose main victims are women. Despite enforcing the Prevention and Suppression of Human Trafficking Act 2012 the trafficking rate in the country has not been reduced significantly.
However, we are happy to note that the government has made regular plans to combat human trafficking through the National Plan of Action, a new five-year draft national plan of action (2018-2022) has already been finalized.
We finally urge the government as well as private agencies concerned to work jointly to resist the increasing trend of human trafficking. We believe a greater focus on protection of labour rights can reduce vulnerability to human trafficking. In this regard, it is high time for the government to bring those employed precariously in domestic work, agriculture, fishing, entertainment, and other informal work under the full protection of labour laws.