Last Updated: Friday, 29 August 2014, 11:25 GMT

U.S. Department of State 2005 Trafficking in Persons Report - Bangladesh

Publisher United States Department of State
Author Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Publication Date 3 June 2005
Cite as United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2005 Trafficking in Persons Report - Bangladesh, 3 June 2005, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4680d83023.html [accessed 29 August 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Bangladesh (Tier 2)

Bangladesh is a country of origin and transit for women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation, involuntary domestic servitude, and debt bondage. Bangladeshi women and girls are trafficked to India, Pakistan, Bahrain, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.). A small number of women and girls are trafficked from Burma to India through the country.

Bangladeshi boys are also trafficked to the U.A.E., Qatar, and Kuwait for forced work as camel jockeys and beggars. Women and children from rural areas in Bangladesh are trafficked to urban centers for commercial sexual exploitation and domestic servitude. Young boys are lured into forced servitude in the fishing industry in Dublar Char and other islands in the Bay of Bengal region.

The Government of Bangladesh does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Over the last year, Bangladesh showed commendable progress in all areas of anti-trafficking efforts. Bangladesh established an inter-ministerial anti-trafficking committee to oversee its national efforts to combat trafficking, created a national anti-trafficking police monitoring unit with presence in all 64 districts, prosecuted an increased number of trafficking and trafficking-related corruption cases, rescued over 161 boys from servitude in the fishing industry, devised and launched a multi-faceted anti-trafficking public awareness campaign, and increased its cooperation with NGOs involved in the fight against trafficking. Despite these achievements, Bangladesh continues to face a huge trafficking problem, which is compounded by pervasive poverty, weak government structures, and generalized corruption. Bangladesh should expand its anti-corruption efforts to reduce the witting and unwitting complicity of officials in trafficking.

Prosecution

Over the reporting period, the Government of Bangladesh made marked improvements in investigating, prosecuting, and punishing traffickers. Through dedicated district-level anti-trafficking magistrates, the government prosecuted 70 cases of trafficking, resulting in 42 convictions – more than double the 17 convictions from the previous year. Twenty-one cases initiated are in the investigation stage. Bangladesh has also charged 11 officials for trafficking-related corruption; those prosecutions are underway. Although an improvement from the previous year, this anti-corruption effort remains weak compared to the large scale of trafficking in Bangladesh. The government appointed a Deputy Attorney General to coordinate the prosecution of trafficking cases throughout the country, and it created an anti-trafficking police cell to compile statistics and data on trafficking cases and victims and to produce witnesses for trial. Although the government rescued over 161 boys trapped in servitude in the fishing industry, none of their traffickers and exploiters was brought to justice.

Protection

The government primarily relies on NGOs such as the Bangladesh National Women Lawyers Association for shelter, medical care, counseling, repatriation, and reintegration services. However, it also runs safe houses, which can shelter trafficking victims. During 2004, the government returned 123 victims to their guardians; it also turned over 21 victims to NGO-run shelters and 11 to government-run safe homes. The government cooperates with NGOs and foreign governments in the repatriation and reintegration of victims. Various NGOs provide training to government officials on victim assistance and protection techniques. Although Bangladesh does not provide training to its overseas diplomats on detecting and caring for victims of trafficking, it has plans to collaborate with an NGO to provide such training to its diplomats.

Prevention

During the reporting period, Bangladesh made progress in implementing anti-trafficking preventive measures. Bangladesh's efforts include launching broad and extensive public awareness campaigns through its national television and radio, conducting anti-trafficking training for religious teachers, and integrating anti-trafficking training material in Bangladesh's Rifles (Border Patrol) training curriculum. In addition, the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs continued its campaign of "Road Marches" to raise awareness of the dangers of trafficking.

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