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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Bangladesh: 25,000 women, children trafficked a year

Source: The Daily Star News

About 25,000 women and children are being trafficked to other countries from Bangladesh every year, Prof Delwar Hossain of Dhaka University said this at a seminar in the city yesterday.

Quoting the survey of Bangladesh National Women Lawyers' Association (BNWLA), he said in the last five years, 87,000 children were rescued, who were either being trafficked or had been smuggled out of the country.

He was presenting the keynote at the seminar on 'Protect children from trafficking: Save our future' at the Meghna Hall of BIAM Foundation in the city. Bangladesh Shishu Odhikar Forum (BSAF), a network of NGOs working with child rights issues, organised the seminar.

Prof Delwar, also chairman of Department of International Relations, said steps should be taken to stop child trafficking and combined efforts of government and non-government organisations are necessary in this regard.

He also discussed different aspects of debate regarding the concept 'trafficking' and identified the segment of children who get victims of trafficking, the destination of the trafficked children and common means of trafficking in the country.

He emphasised the importance of collective efforts of law enforcement agencies, judiciary, national and international bodies and community people in protecting children from trafficking.

In case of ineffective implementation of law, a monitoring system with the international network and update technologies should be given priority, he added.

Shah Alam, assistant inspector general of police, said there should have a specific definition of human trafficking, which would help punish the traffickers. “Besides, there is an option in the website of Bangladesh Police to put information about trafficking to identify the traffickers and rescue the child victims”, he added.

He said anti-trafficking and immigration laws should be updated to help curb the problem.

Speakers said campaign can provide information about how the community and civil society can play constructive role in combating child trafficking.

Razia Begum, secretary-in-charge of the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, attended the programme as the chief guest.

BASF Director Md Kafil Uddin and executive member Enayet Hossain were present at the programme.