Dhaka , Sept 14 (UNB)- Speakers at a workshop on Sunday said trafficking in persons is a crime which should be brought under control with the comprehensive efforts of government, development partners, law enforcement agencies and civil society members.
They came up with the opinion at a National Consultative Workshop titled “Comprehensive Responses to Trafficking in Persons” held at a city hotel.
IOM Bangladesh as a coordinator and secretariat of UN Migration Network organised the event in coordination with Ministry of Foreign Affairs ,Ministry of Home Affairs with financial support from U.S. Department of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).
Addressing the event, Brent Christensen, political/economic counselor, U.S Embassy in Bangladesh said, “We view trafficking in person as a serious crime. Bangladesh was ranked Tire 2 Watch list in the US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report 2019 causing concerns for many people in this room. “
“The report’s most critical recommendation advices Bangladesh to ‘significantly increase prosecutions and convictions for trafficking offenses’. We believe Bangladesh has a constructive action plan to prevent human trafficking. The focus now must be implementation.”
Mia Seppo, UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh, said, “Trafficking disproportionately affect people who are already discriminated against and vulnerable to exploitation and exclusion. The efforts to prevent trafficking in persons require creative and coordinated responses. Trafficking is also a development issue. State must also do more to support the victims and survivors of trafficking.”
Foreign secretary M Shahidul Haque said, “The mode of trafficking is changing rapidly. If you want to combat trafficking with old model, you will be failed. There is a huge gap between actions and trafficking business.”
Trafficking should be brought under the umbrella of migration, he said adding the government wants to reduce vulnerabilities and has taken lots of initiatives.
Recently, the government has decided to ratify Palermo protocol to prevent trafficking, he said.
Addressing the consultation, Girogi Gigauri, Chief of Mission, IOM Bangladesh, said, “Lack of job opportunities, poor awareness on safe migration, high costs of migration are some of the pull factors to irregular migration. As a coordinator of UN Migration Network, we are prioritizing the rights and wellbeing of migrants and their communities of destination, origin, and transit. And, we are always with the government to end human trafficking.”
The consultative workshop brought together government bodies, UN agencies, donors and NGOs.
Eric Opanga, Resident Legal Advisor, US Department of Justice, A K M Masud Ali, executive director, INCIDIN, Jonathan Martens, Senior Migrant Protection Specialist, IOM were, among others, present.