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Trafficking: Bangladesh still on Tier 2

  • Published at 06:00 am July 2nd, 2021
WEB_ Human Trafficking
Photo: Bigstock

Says a US Department of State report on human trafficking

The government of Bangladesh has demonstrated overall increasing efforts on its anti-trafficking capacity compared to previous years, considering the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, says a US report.

The report, titled “2021 Trafficking in Persons Report,” said Bangladesh remained on Tier 2.

The report mentioned Bangladesh’s efforts that included initiating more prosecutions, particularly of labour traffickers, beginning to operate its trafficking tribunals, and collaborating with foreign governments on a transnational trafficking case.

The government also opened an investigation into — and parliament revoked the seat of — a member of parliament involved in bribing a Kuwaiti official to fraudulently send more than 20,000 Bangladeshi migrant workers to Kuwait, said the report in its Bangladesh part.

The government also reported it funded 95% of its national action plan to fight human trafficking. However, the US report says, the government did not meet the minimum standards in several key areas.

The number of convictions decreased, while law enforcement continued to deny credible reports of official complicity in trafficking, forced labour and sex trafficking of the Rohingyas, and child sex trafficking, including in licensed brothels, and did not demonstrate efforts to identify victims or investigate these persistent reports, said the report released by the US Department of State.

The government continued to allow recruiting agencies to charge high recruitment fees to migrant workers and did not consistently address illegally operating recruitment sub-agents, leaving workers vulnerable to traffickers and victim care remained insufficient, it said.

Officials did not consistently implement victim identification procedures or refer identified victims to care, and the government did not have shelters or adequate services for adult male victims, the report claimed.

The report mentioned that the government of Bangladesh did not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, but was making significant efforts to do so.

The report recommended increasing prosecutions and convictions for trafficking offences, particularly of labour traffickers and complicit government officials, while respecting due process.

It also urged the Bangladesh government to take steps to eliminate recruitment fees charged to workers by licensed labour recruiters and ensure employers pay recruitment fees.

The report also recommended increasing investigations and prosecutions of credible allegations of trafficking of the Rohingyas, including cases that do not involve movement

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