Women and Child trafficking

Women and Child Trafficking in Bangladesh :

Over the past decade, human trafficking has reached epidemic proportion . No country is immune. Now-a-days, human trafficking is being considered as one of the most profitable forms of illegal activity. Its high profit, low penalty nature makes it attractive to the criminal gangs and large -scale organized crime, facing a growing number of people into slavery around the world including Bangladesh.

20,000 Bangladeshi women, children smuggled a year

Despite efforts to check human trafficking at various levels, between 10,000 and 20,000 women and children are trafficked from Bangladesh every year, said Home Minister Altaf Hossain Chowdhury yesterday. Expressing concerns at the upward trend of such trafficking, the home minister told the inaugural session of a three-day regional workshop on human trafficking in the city that traffickers were not getting punished in the South Asian region.

"Human trafficking is a million-dollar trade in human misery," said Chandi Joshi, South Asia Programme Director of United Nations Development Fund for Women (Unifem) at the workshop participated NGO and media representatives from India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Human trafficking is a big business and usually powerful people are involved in it," said the ATSEC Regional Co-ordinator Enamul Huq Chowdhury, "Trafficking has thrown a big challenge to humanity." (Daily Star, January 21, 2004)

In Asia , girls from villages are trafficked , the majority of whom are under 18 years who are trafficked for $ 1000 and are sold to brothels / prostitution for sex industry . Human trafficking is not confined only to the sex industry . Children ( aged about 4 to 15 years ) are also largely trafficked :

  • To work in the " Three D - Jobs" , i.e. dirty , difficult and dangerous as bonded or forced labor ;
  • To use the body parts of children , such as Kidney etc.
  • To send them to Arab Gulf countries for using them as drivers for " Camel Jockeys ( Race )" , where they face a life of danger , misery and loneliness.

Women and Child Trafficking in Bangladesh :

Bangladesh is one of the countries in the world in which the rate of trafficking is very high . Because of the hidden nature of this crime of trafficking , reliable statistics are hard to come out . Nevertheless according to the statistics of the Human Rights activists , the rate of trafficking in Bangladesh is as follows :

  • 200 -- 400 young women and children are smuggled and trafficked every months from Bangladesh to Pakistan and Arab gulf countries ;
  • An estimated 10,000 - 15,000 are trafficked to India annually ;
  • On average at least 70 - 80 women and children are trafficked Daily from 200 -- 400 young women and children are smuggled and trafficked every months from Bangladesh to Pakistan and Arab gulf countries ;
  • An estimated 200,00 women are already been trafficked in different countries including girls as young as 9 years old

Process of Trafficking in Bangladesh:

As per reports mentioned by Coordinating Council of Human Rights in Bangladesh (CCHRB ) , there are mainly the following ways of trafficking:

  • Promise of better life / jobs ;
  • Promise of a marriage proposal or fake marriage ;
  • Kidnapping ;
  • Selling by known people and relatives.

Causes of Trafficking in Bangladesh:

The main reasons of trafficking can be summarized under the following:

  • Poverty of the victims ;
  • Gender discriminatory social protection in Bangladesh ;
  • Lack of good social protection scheme , for example , lack of awareness to the public at large ; public information against trafficking is not enough; unwritten chain maintained among the traffickers and law enforcing agencies of Bangladesh ;
  • Lack of good governance and policy of the Government ;
  • Flexibility in the enforcement of the existing laws and policies ;
  • Collapse of the Garment industries in Bangladesh after September , 2001.

    Route of Trafficking in Bangladesh:

    There are 16 main routes by which women and children are trafficked through the border of Bangladesh . There are people on both sides of the border i.e. Bangladesh border and Indian border , who are the people of this trafficking chain

    Results of trafficking:

    End result for the victims of trafficking is abusive and harmful such as:

    • Trafficked persons mental and physical loss ;
    • Trafficked persons , when she is a women , are not socially well -treated when they are rescued from the trafficking area ;
    • Spread of HIV / AIDS among the victims who are trafficked into prostitutions .

    (Jamila Ahmed Chowdhury, The Independent, 03. 10. 03)

    Trafficking of Children

    Trafficking of children is one of the most heinous of crimes, and society and the government have to work untiringly to put a stop to this in our country. Only two days ago five children were being sent to Saudi Arabia to work as camel jockeys. They were rescued by the immigration police at Zia airport and their captors were arrested. At a workshop on Trafficking in Women and Children, organised by the Centre for Women and Children Studies, it was revealed that in three years from January 2000 till June 2003 around 2400 children have been missing in the northern districts of Bangladesh, 1220 being boys and another 1200 girls. Besides, a total of 1109 children were kidnapped, with 784 girls and 325 boys. Despite the revision of laws in the Middle East regarding use of boys as camel jockeys, the majority of boys are still sent there for this purpose, whereas girls are sold for sexual exploitation in neighbouring countries and also further afield.

    The strategies to put and end to trafficking of children include speedy trial of offenders and stringent punishment for those proved guilty. Speedy Trial Tribunals must take up such cases and mete out exemplary punishment. As in the case of smuggling of drugs and other contraband items, routes of children trafficking have to be identified, and strict security and surveillance ensured. Moreover, the avenues of demand in other countries have to be closed down, as has been done by modifying the laws regarding utilization of young boys as camel jockeys in the Middle East.


    Governments, community leaders and human rights groups must be extra vigilant to stop sexual exploitation and use as bonded labour of girls and boys. For this the developed countries must come to the assistance of less developed countries like ours by providing funds and technology for security and surveillance efforts. The European Commission is actively pursuing research on trafficking and effective remedial measures in Bangladesh and other developing countries. The Middle Eastern countries and the SAARC nations must also jointly launch effective programmes to combat this menace which is a sheer violation of human rights.

    Source:The Independent, Editorial, August 29, 2003

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