Migrants’ rights campaigners and senior lawyers have expressed worried over procrastination in framing the rules of Prevention and suppression of Human Trafficking Act although the law had been passed by the national parliament in 2012.
Due to lack of enforcement of the relevant migration and counter trafficking laws, Bangladeshi migrant workers have been facing various problems at home and abroad, they said.
They have made their concerns while speaking at roundtable on ‘Counter Trafficking and Labour Migration Laws, Policies and Mechanisms in Bangladesh.’
Solidarity Center in Bangladesh in cooperation with the SAARCLAW had organized the roundtable at a city hotel on March 31, 2018.
Barrister Lutfun Kadir who presented a research paper at the roundtable, said that there were 3500 cases filed across the country since the formulation of the Prevention and suppression of Human Trafficking Act 2012.
‘However not a single case has been disposed of,’ she said.
Lutfun Kadir mentioned the problems that the court proceedings were lengthy and there was no separate tribunal for quick disposal of cases.
She spoke about Overseas Employment and Migration Act 2013 and noted that very little prosecution has been taking place under this law since its enactment.
‘Many victims and even law enforcers do not have proper knowledge about 2013 act,’ she said.
Speaking as chief guest, Supreme Court Justice Syed Refaat Ahmed said that the government would have to be ‘more labour friendly’ to execute the relevant laws to ensure their rights.
He stressed the need for facilitating formal labour migration to reduce the trafficking incidents.
Referring to the trafficking of workers through sea routes, WARBE Development Foundation secretary general Faruque Ahmed said that Thailand has punished top army officer but there was no such example in Bangladesh.
He said that there were big shots involved in the human trafficking published in newspapers but they were out of the punishment.
WARBE Development Foundation chairman Syed Saiful Haque that the government has not yet prepared the rules of the Prevention and suppression of Human Trafficking Act, 2012.
Country Program Director of Solidarity Center, Bangladesh Christopher K Johnson, SAARLAW vice president and MK Rahman and secretary general Muhammad Mohsen Rashid, Trade union leader Abul Hossain, Senior lawyer at Supreme Court KM Saifuddin Ahmed, Bangladesh Ovibashi Adhikar Forum Chairman Nazmul Ahsan, Bangladeshi Ovhibashi Mohila Sramik Association chairman Lily Jahan and BOMSA director Sumaiya Islam also spoke at the roundtable.