Solidarity Center-Bangladesh has organized an advocacy meeting on ‘Analysis and Application of the Prevention and Suppression of Human Trafficking Act 2012’ at a city hotel in Dhaka on Wednesday with the goals to analyze the law and role of media in covering human trafficking news.
Migrant workers, trade union leaders, labour lawyers, migrant rights activists and journalists from print, electronic and online media took part in the advocacy meeting and shared their views about the human trafficking issues.
Speaking at the meeting they called upon the government of Bangladesh to take stern actions against the human traffickers at home and ensure justice for the trafficking victims.
The speakers expressed frustration over low conviction and prosecution of traffickers in Bangladesh and called taking effective measures to protect the migrant workers from getting trafficked.
Expatriates’ welfare and overseas employment ministry additional secretary Dr. Ahmed Munirus Saleheen who was the chief guest said that trafficking in migration has become a big challenge for Bangladesh and the government has been relentlessly working to stop trafficking.
Referring to recently adopted Global Compact on Migration, he said that Bangladesh government was working to ensure safe, orderly, regular and responsible migration in light of GCM.
He sought cooperation from all stakeholders of the migration sector for the government efforts to turn the trafficking issues into zero level.
In his welcome address, Solidarity Center Country Program Director Christopher K. Johnson said that ‘it is no longer sufficient for us to only consider what is best for our community. Our understanding of local law and international instruments is necessary if we seek to safeguard human rights within and outside of our national boarder.’
Senior advocate Saleha Begum who made an analysis presentation on the Prevention and Suppression of Human Trafficking Act, 2012 said that human trafficking was perpetrated in network and the law has addressed every stage of the trafficking process including extra-regional jurisdictions as the crime involves multiple nations.
She stressed the need for signing bilateral or multinational agreements between the countries of origins and destinations to check the trafficking at all stages, especially in destinations.
‘Due to lack ignorance, financial supports and voluntary compromise, many victims are reluctant to seek legal justice,’ the lawyer said.
Solidarity Center’ deputy country program director Kelly Fay Rodriguez in her concluding remark said that ensuring decent work could be a solution to human trafficking.
Kelly said that trade unions, community leaders and media should work together to protect migrant workers.
Trade unionist and founder of the AWAJ Foundation Nazma Akter said that four ministries --home, foreign, labour and expatriate welfare would have to work together to address human trafficking issues.
Senior Labour lawyer AKM Nasim said that the government would have to form ‘National Agency’ stipulated in the counter trafficking law to execute legal instrument completely.
Solidarity center’s senior Program officer Dr Lily Gomes who moderated the whole sessions said that trade unions and media would have to be engaged to fight against the trafficking in persons and protect rights of the workers.
Garment workers Solidarity Federation general secretary Sritee Akter, Bangladeshi OvibashiMohilaSramik Association chairman Lily Jahan, BOMSA director Sumaiya Islam, trade unionist Kamrul Hasan, Awaj Foundation director Anisur Rahman Khan, WARBE Development Foundation director Jasiya Khatoon and New Age journalist Md Owasim Uddin Bhuyan, among other also spoke at the advocacy meeting.