Dhaka, Bangladesh
Curb curse of trafficking

Editorial

Curb curse of trafficking

Modern world boosts of abolishing slavery. But that it is nothing to gloat about is evident from the recent surge in the human trafficking. Human trafficking is essentially a new term for slave trading. The recent plethora of this crime in Bangladesh makes everyone stunned. Almost all the conditions under UN definition of trafficking are super-abundant in Bangladesh. Various studies reveal that 20 main points in 16 western districts of Bangladesh near the Indian border are used by the human traffickers. The main trafficking route is Dhaka –Mumbai-Karachi-Dubai. Bangladesh is a source and transit country for men, women and child trafficking. Both internal and cross-border trafficking exist in the country. In the case of internal trafficking, women and children are taken away from their homes on false promises of luxurious life with lucrative jobs and traffickers sell them to whore-house. Women and children from Bangladesh are also trafficked abroad for commercial sexual exploitation. According to reports, over one million women and children had been trafficked out of the country in the last thirty years. In Bangladesh approximately 400 women and children fall prey to trafficking each month and most of them are aged between 12 and 16. They are forced to work in the commercial sex industry. The reasons for women and girl trafficking are not much difficult to identify. The existing social milieu, economic system, cultural condition and geographical setting of Bangladesh are favourable to trafficking of women and children. Poverty is also a major factor behind trafficking from rural areas. Illiteracy, landlessness, over-population, low levels of income, lack of jobs and other amenities of life make rural people, especially the poor, vulnerable to trafficking. To root out trafficking these issues must be addressed immediately. The existing laws in Bangladesh clearly affirm that trafficking is a punishable offence for which capital punishment may be awarded as maximum punishment. But only laws and fear of punishment cannot stop traffickers to commit the crime. As exemplary punishment is rarely meted out to the traffickers, the culprits keep on repeating the crime. The number of convictions has also declined. In view of the increase in the number of trafficking, the government has to enforce stringently the existing laws and ensure proper punishment to the traffickers. For motivational purpose a system of multisectoral task forces at the upazila, district and national levels should be established to curb trafficking. A rehabilitation programme for the rescued women and children should also be launched by the government. Above all, a strong social movement against trafficking is indispensable for fighting this social curse.

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