Human trafficking is the trade of humans for the purpose of forced labour, sexual slavery, or commercial sexual exploitation for the trafficker or others.This may encompass providing a spouse in the context of forced marriage, or the extraction of organs or tissues, including for surrogacy and ova removal. Human trafficking can occur within a country or trans-nationally. Human trafficking is a crime against the person because of the violation of the victim’s rights of movement through coercion and because of their commercial exploitation. Human trafficking is the trade in people, especially women and children, and does not necessarily involve the movement of the person from one place to another.
According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), forced labour alone (one component of human trafficking) generates an estimated $150 billion in profits per annum as of 2014. In 2012, the ILO estimated that 21 million victims are trapped in modern-day slavery. Of these, 14.2 million (68%) were exploited for labour, 4.5 million (22%) were sexually exploited, and 2.2 million (10%) were exploited in state-imposed forced labour. The International Labour Organization has reported that child workers, minorities, and irregular migrants are at considerable risk of more extreme forms of exploitation. Statistics shows that over half of the world’s 215 million young workers are observed to be in hazardous sectors, including forced sex work and forced street begging. Ethnic minorities and highly marginalized groups of people are highly estimated to work in some of the most exploitative and damaging sectors, such as leather tanning, mining, and stone quarry work.
Human trafficking is thought to be one of the fastest-growing activities of trans-national criminal organizations.
Human trafficking is condemned as a violation of human rights by international conventions. In addition, human trafficking is subject to a directive in the European Union. According to a report by the U.S. State Department, Belarus, Iran, Russia, and Turkmenistan remain among the worst countries when it comes to providing protection against human trafficking and forced labour
The movement of women and children from one city to another and from one country to another for the purpose of employing them in criminal activities, keeping them in legal or illegal brothels, or using them as slaves is a crime against humanity and a violation of the civil rights of the individuals. Unmistakably, the illegal trafficking in women and children for purposes of slave labor, child labor, pornography, and forced prostitution has become a modern day social problem. In December 2000, the first international standard for defining trafficking in human beings was introduced by the United Nations: United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, This supplemented the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. As a response to the UN Protocol, in the same year, all countries of South Eastern Europe (SEE) signed the Palermo Anti-Trafficking Declaration, which marked a first step for governments in committing themselves to address the phenomenon of trafficking by implementing effective programs of prevention, victim assistance and protection, legislative reform, law enforcement and prosecution of traffickers Trafficking in human beings is the fastest growing form of transnational organized crime involving one of the most corrosive forms of violation of human rights. Victims are subjected to violence, humiliation of inherent human dignity and the web of human rights violations including the violation of personal integrity. Violence accompanied with despicable forms of violation of human rights, in many cases, leaves the victims of trafficking with the lifelong effects of mental and physical trauma. Trafficking of human beings is now considered a modern form of slavery.
Trafficking amounts to violation of following rights, among others,: the right to integrity and security of the person, the right to freedom from torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment, the right to freedom of movement, the right to return to home and family, the right to health, the right to education and the right to live like a human being and not to be treated as commodity. Apart from these, trafficked women and children can also suffer from a multitude of physical and psychological health problems. In particular, women can suffer from reproductive and other gender-specific health problems, sexual exploitation and increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV. Human rights are also violated in prosecution against traffickers as traffic victims cannot effectively participate in the justice system due to fear or intimidation by the organized criminal network of trafficking, inadequate legal framework or absence of victim friendly criminal justice system.
The legal framework of any country consists of domestic laws as well as international legal regime that have been signed, acceded/ratified by a given state. Trafficking of persons and related activities can be prosecuted under several national laws of Bangladesh which include Constitutional provisions, specific laws related to trafficking and other complementary laws – substantive and procedural. Several of these laws date back to colonial period. Bangladesh is party to many international and regional instruments dealing with various aspects of trafficking, yet most of them are not directly applicable as Bangladesh follows dualist theory in applying international law in state territory.
The aim of present paper is to focus on the meaning and necessity of human right based approach in the sphere of human trafficking, to examine the domestic legal framework of Bangladesh to combat trafficking in persons. In this connection, the paper also gives some reflections on the definition of human trafficking and shows the limitations of various definitions. The article makes an attempt to analyze the counter trafficking laws of Bangladesh from human rights perspective. Finally, the paper makes certain recommendations.
1.2 Objective of the Report
I have discussed basically trafficking problem at present in Bangladesh. Besides what are the issues invoking with that matter, how NGOs they play their roll to find out the problems, their strategies, what are the effects of such trafficking activities in Bangladesh, what types of steps should be taken by the Govt., our environment, our political influences, national laws which exist now in Bangladesh, international provisions which exist now in the whole world and moral liabilities which are available before us etc. have been discussed in this study paper. All the citizens of this country should be aware about this issue trafficking, we should take necessary strategies to prevent it and Govt. must be very much rigid and active to take necessary legal actions for the abolishment of trafficking of women and children from Bangladesh.
This paper will analyze the amendment Act of 2000. It will try to discover its implementation through reported case studies and also will assess successes/ failure of this Act.
1.4 Concept of Trafficking Problem
The Bangla equivalent of the word trafficking is pachar. It has a mild connotation which means transfer from one place to another. If the term pachar is used in reference to women and children in Bangla the phrase nari o shishu pachar means illegal transfer of women and children from one place to another Trafficking which is a serious problem and is considered a violation of human rights, is yet to be internalized emotionally by society at large in Bangladesh and also in other South Asian countries. Trafficking in women consists of all acts involved in the procurement, transportation, forced movement, and/or selling and buying of women within and/or across border by fraudulent means, deception, coercion, direct and /or indirect threats, abuse of authority, for the purpose of placing a woman against her will without her consent in exploitative and abusive situations such as forced prostitution, forced marriage, bonded and forced labour begging organ trade etc. Trafficking in children consists of all acts involved in the procurement, transportation, forced movement, and/or selling and buying of children within and or across border by fraudulent means, deception, coercion, direct and or indirect threats, abuse of authority for the purpose of placing a child against her/his will without her consent in exploitative and abusive situations such as commercial sexual abuse, forced marriage, bonded and forced labour, begging, camel jockeying and other sports, organ trade etc. Trafficking of persons into bonded sweatshop labour, forced marriage, forced prostitutions, domestic servitude, and other kinds of work is a global phenomenon that takes place within countries and regions and on a transcontinental scale. Trafficking in women is one of the fastest growing criminal activities in the world with an estimated one to two million young women being trafficked annually for the purpose of forced labour, domestic servitude, or sexual exploitation. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates that, in 1995, about 500,000 women were trafficked to the countries of the European Union from poorer regions of the world. So, it is not a problem of developing countries alone.
1.5 Definition of Human Trafficking
Trafficking in persons has different connotations to different people. There is no denying the fact that conceptual clarity with regard to trafficking is essential to launch a targeted response to the problem as well as to prevent the enactment of counter trafficking laws and programmes that violate other human rights of women and children.
However, the definition of human trafficking confronts with a crisis of varying perceptions in different times, different places and different jurisdictions. The associated purposes, causes and the processes of trafficking strongly influence the process of conceptualizing the act of trafficking which in turn affects the adoption of universally acceptable definition.
At present, the widely agreed upon and endorsed definition of trafficking is the UN Protocol to Prevent. Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, 2000 which supplements the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, 2000. The UN Protocol defines trafficking in the following way:
“Trafficking in persons shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, either by the threat or use of abduction, force, fraud, deception or coercion, or by giving or receiving of unlawful payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person with the aim of submitting them to any form of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at the minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or others forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.”
The definition establishes that –
- In the process of recruitment for trafficking various criminal offences such as threat, use of force, coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or taking advantage of the position of vulnerability are resorted to.
- Persons recruited for trafficking are transported or transferred both inside or outside of a country.
- In the process of trafficking, the victims are transferred from one person to another person or sold more than once.
- In order to subjugate or establish absolute control over the victims, various physical or mental torture are inflicted on them.
- Human Trafficking is an organized crime.
- Trafficking in persons is a corrosive form of violation of human rights of the victims.
- Inhuman exploitative situation in which the victims are employed includes, at minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal organs.
- the trade (buying, selling, import, sending abroad) of human beings for the purpose of achieving private gain or placing or holding the victim in an exploitative situation
- involving the trafficked victims for prostitution and other improper purpose, such as forced or coerced labour, servitude, slavery or sexual exploitation.
1.6 Distinction Between Trafficking And Safe Migration
The two parallel concepts, trafficking and safe migration are very often misunderstood. Some stakeholders do define both the terms in such a way very much intermingling with each other, so that a clear difference between them cannot be drawn. But in fact they are separate and do not have objective similarities.
In the report of 2004 on Counter Trafficking Framework prepared by the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, it is mentioned that “Migration is the movement of People from one place to another in order to take up employment, establish residence or to avoid persecution. Ideally, migration occurs when a migrant makes the decision to migrate freely for reasons of personal convenience and without the intervention of an external compelling factor. However it may not be so simple to confine the process of migration to this definition. Each individual migrant has widely different reasons for choosing to migrate and external factors such as poverty, unemployment or disaster may compel a person to migrate. Migration therefore can be taken as a board concept encompassing nearly all aspects mobility. Trafficking is a subset of the broad category where there are particular vulnerabilities and circumstances that lead to the outcome of exploitation or harm. In the same report a well designed distinction is maintained between the two categorically, those are:
Trafficked persons are deceived or deceived or forced to move whereas migrants are not usually deceived or forced to leave his or her place of residence.
Trafficking is a development- retarding phenomenon, whereas migration is an integral component of economic development.
Trafficking is viewed as an anti- social and morally degrading heinous event that violates human rights and laws. However migration is widely considered as a process that enhances social progress in both the origin and destination countries that can be an empowering process. Exploitation, profit and illegality are all central to the idea of trafficking in persons, which is certainly not the case in migration.
Substantially it can be stated that migration is a right whereas trafficking is a crime. At the initial stage both start with the hope of economic emancipation, but the end of a course determines its nature. Trafficking in general always includes a substantive element that is, “cross border”. In this way international criminality is a significant malice component of trafficking cases.
1.7 How is the Trafficking Problem Internalized?
The Bangla equivalent of the word trafficking is pachar. It has a mild connotation, which means transfer from one place to another. If the term pachar is used in reference to women and children, in Bangla the phrase nari o shishu pachar means illegal transfer of women and children from one place to another. Trafficking, which is a serious problem and is considered a violation of human rights, is yet to be internalized emotionally by society at large in Bangladesh and also in other South Asian countries.
The term itself does not capture the total implications for an adolescent girl to be abducted and taken to a brothel; threatened, beaten, and raped; and forced to submit to having sex with men, seven days a week, for several years until she eventually becomes ill which may sometime result in death.
The crux of the issue is that civil society in Bangladesh has yet to internalize the mind-set that ‘trafficking’ is as bad as hatta (murder), dharshan (rape), or chintai (mugging). When one hears or reads news about trafficking, it does not create the same reaction as other criminal activities, such as rape, murder, or mugging. Newspapers are replete with news of rape and murder, but there are few reports on trafficking of women and children.
CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING
Trafficking from third world essentially involves some very elementary and mélange causes .situations affix which causes will become the prime stimulator and which will stand as a facilitating factor in human trafficking .hereby, it depends on variation of circumstances .but in any case all these components are more or less active and imperative in managing the vicious trafficking chain.
2.1 National level:
Poverty is the most ominous curse on our nation .it is the mother of many other vicious circles that are vibrantly dominating our lives life styles, actions, and thoughts, day to day conducts, abilities etc. economical insolvency is the utmost obstruction that incessantly creates problem for its carrier. It has an all most all –dimensional impact on our lives. Empirically the poor are the easiest suffers of many others evil deeds within the society including trafficking. Poverty is a large extent a cause that has been created, maintained and facilitated by human interventions. Again, impoverishment facilitates unemployment and vice versa. It creates a vicious circle that at times fabricates many worst systems; trafficking is one of them. Sometimes, some enterprises including the ruling the ruling elite may become the perpetrator; but in all cases they are the human beings behind the veil of oppression.
2.1.2 Inherent injustice in the socio-economic system
When a system maintains the genesis of exploitation, with the advancement of time, it itself turns into a structural device exploitation. The native socio economical structure has injustices in various corners of its foundation. Here money, might and means dominate the structure irrespective of the true needs of common members of society. Existing socio economic system maintains a vicious circle of poverty that creates and circulates many other problems in the society. Some examples in this regard can be cited; if the market pries of daily goods hike up, it directly hits those who are poor. Again in our society respect follows the rich and not the poor, does not matter how much wise the latter is. This actuality creates hopelessness and sometimes it instigates the trafficking channels. However, the important fact is that the profits are always going to the same doors of white collar criminals.
2.1.3 Lack of Education and Awareness
This is also facilitated by sheer ignorance, lack of information and certain social motivated urge to go abroad and allegedly get the taste of a better (superior) life.
Natural calamities are very frequent in Bangladesh. They seldom visits our homeland, with sufficient destructive might; leaving behind miseries for our country. Namely, they are floods, cyclones, river erosions etc. Indeed, they are active and grave barriers against our state developments. It creates and some times, facilitates pauperization of the affected peoples. And, as always paupers are the worst victims of any kind of exploitations including human trafficking.
2.2 International level
2.2.1 Inequities in the international economic relations
The international economic relations are mainly controlled and dominated by the developed countries. Technological advantage, economical strength and military might now have become the control factors of world politics. Here some produces so that others consume; both products and people of some states can travel anywhere they want but in cases of most other states, products are restricted to travel whether people are not. But not always as travelers some times as victims of trafficking. This creates an imbalance in economic relations. It is incessantly creating a world where a poor state is getting poorer and rich is getting richer. This international trend is also active inside state borders. Thereby the destination countries are n a way fixing the status quo of the source countries.
2.3 International labour market
2.3.1 Demand-supply dynamics
World atmosphere, more and more is being dominated by some cardinal axioms of modern economics. Demand always creates supply and if the demand increases, supply will be increased correspondingly. The whole international labour market has now become an open theater of these demand-supply dynamics. Here demand determines the supply and quantity; market determines from where the demand is to be satisfied. Since, the international market demands human beings as various commodities it collects them mainly from the third world due to less risk and expenditure accompanying high profit.
Earthly heaven, as it is understood by many of the commoners of the third world, is no doubt indicates-the developed western hemisphere. A world of joy and happiness! Where you will have anything and everything you need! For more than half a century, the poor third world is hypnotized by this dream. People from third world are devoted to touch their dreamlands and it is persisting them to anyhow cross the state borders. And from there starts the gospel of trafficking.
2.3.3 Multi-billion dollar business (flesh trade)
Consumerism has turned even human beings into commodities and amusement items. Certainly, it is one of the darkest chapters of human civilization. As mentioned earlier, trafficked women’s are the most frequent victims of this pre-historic trend. Now-a-days, it has become a multi-billion dollar business, that includes not only prostitution but also pornographic trades as adult websites, magazines etc. Moreover, this trade is flourishing in many parts of the globe. It has a direct impact on human psyche. Thereby, demand for flesh is growing up. And the market has to determine from where the supply will be coming.
2.3.4 Trading in human organs
Human organs are invaluable parts of the human body. One of the crucial causes behind trafficking is the demand of human organs in the international market. Because, according to medical science, some parts of the human body (e.g. kidney, cornea etc.) can be transplanted to another human body in order to cure / save another life. In many cases as reported in the media, it is ensured by involuntary donations from the trafficked kids. The victims of this inhuman treatment are tin most cases coming from poor third world countries including Bangladesh. Thus, it has reshaped the grade of human organs as demanded valuables.
Trafficking may have several consequences of multi-dimensional character .It has impacts on different levels and paradigms. It always distorts, by imposing tremendous pressure on the victims /survivors. Alongside, some others facets of it will be disclosed in subsequent discussions of the present module.
2.4.1 Health related problems
Trafficked victims are frequently affected by various health related problems. Albeit, it depends on the nature and length of engagements. Some of these are: AIDS, Hepatitis B and C, Syphilis, Cancer etc. A number of these diseases are infectious and incurable. General observations reveal that trafficked females that are mainly engaged in flesh trade are the most vulnerable victims of these health related threats. Though the degree of threat regarding other types of works varies, but in every case the threat is there.
2.4.2 New form of enslavement
Trafficking necessarily introduce new form of enslavement. When a person is trafficked, he or she is no longer free. Being trafficked requires adjustment with many cruel and inhuman treatments. It gives a new life without hope, without freedom and without dignity. Human beings become slaves of market demand. For example: children’s form poor countries are taken to the Middle East to make then camel jockeys. This enslavement is new, since it is not the age of Spartacus (When enslavement is legal), virtually slavery exists nowhere in the globe, if we want to understand that type of slavery as master vis-a vis slave relation. At present, market has become the master, far more expert and efficient in collecting slaves (albeit it is illegal according to many national and international instruments). Here stands the difference between new and old forms of enslavement.
2.4.3 Physical abuse and torture
A very common attitude towards those who have been trafficked is physical torture and abuse. This tendency is fabricated by the perceptions of those exploiters to whom they are not human beings but simply, commodities. So they can be used and abused like any other commodities. Here, always prevails the consumers (or, master’s) will. They are even subjected to torture as well for the sake of delish pleasure of the consumers. Rough and degrading life always brings some ghastly and pathetic realities. It is such a lane in which every intersection is full of inviolable punishments, miseries and sufferings. If it starts once, no one knows when and how it will stop. There is only one way to survive that is to sustain and adjust with it without any kind of objections.
Death comes as a reward of becoming commodity. Not exceptionally, but unexpectedly, it comes to eliminate and unfortunate. Death defying working environment, acquiring incurable diseases, organic losses etc may cause death of the affected person. Suicidal tendency is also there amongst the victims. Moreover, since the trafficked people in most cases are illegal aliens in the state of destination, they are not receiving any legal protection there. Hence, the door for death to come and win remains wider.
2.4.5 Undignified treatment by state of destination
Very often the state of destination behaves inhumanly to the trafficked beings. It is in fact a reality, that when they are caught anyhow by the transit or destination countries they have to tolerate a continuous pressure from various state levels. Sometimes they are abused and exploited by the law enforcing agencies of those countries. But in any case, they did not get adequate protection of law since they are illegal foreigners in those countries. For these state affairs, the destined state sometimes remains indifferent about the rights of the trafficked persons.
2.5.1 Sense of alienation
Naturally, leaving home and homeland always gives and alien perception. To the trafficked victims, the degree of alien feeling is much truer and much harsher. They have to face new realities, new types of people and new life styles, with which they are not known and habituated. This new panorama offers them very tough and degrading life, which they are bound to follow. In their day to day business, they have to conduct with people of alien attitudes. In most cases the trafficked beings don’t understand their daily miseries. It creates a sense of alienation amongst the victims of human trafficking.
2.5.2 Loss of self
Loss of self comes as an inevitable consequence of alienation. When a person is lost outside his home and homeland and has to face continuously grave inhuman, degrading and cruel treatment, very certainly, his self dignity is dismantled by tremendous pressure of horrendous realities. It repeatedly strikes his essence of self estimation. He losses himself, because new realities turn him simply into a thing that can be bought and sold, used and abused in any manner demanded.
2.5.3 Psychological disorders
As a predictable offshoot off being trafficked a number of psychological disorders may infect the victim. These are tension phobia, stress, total insanity etc. Notably, some of these diseases are very remotely curable unless proper medical care is taken. But for the trafficked beings this is probably something far beyond their expectations. This indeed makes their life more tough and complicated.
2.6 Family level
2.6.1 Breaking up of the family
Family beaks up in some cases due to become a subject of trafficking. In rural Bangladesh, people are very much motivated by various socio religious prejudices. For example, a married female is being trafficked, either by her husband or by a third person, in consequence, her family breads up. It may as well happen in other cases. But this misfortune in consequence, always prefers the female.
2.6.2 Trauma in and of the family
In any case of trafficking, the concerned family has to suffer the most. It leads the entire family to a mood of uncertainty and fear regarding the whereabouts of the member victimized by trafficking. It pushes the other members’ of the family in a state of continuous pressure or trauma. No one knows what will happen to the lost member; even no one knows what is coming to the family in return of trafficking from various societal levels. It anyhow the lost member returns, the family hesitates or even refuses to accept him/ her. This complexity acts inside and outside the family. It entails, sometimes in internal gap or misunderstanding among the family members and as a whole every individual member of the family has to suffer for this unfortunate incident.
2.7 National level
2.7.1 Loss of human resources lost population with accompanying economic consequences
Human beings are the most dynamic and invaluable resources for any country, since they can serve the nation and even the entire human civilization by their intellectual or material contributions. An intellect with the best merit and invincible expertise is sufficient to promote the nation’s image to an unparallel top. In any case, trafficking is not only taking away human resources from our country but also quashing possible intellectual skills.
Furthermore, it has got some negative economical impacts on our state economy. This vibrant chain is dismantling the possible contribution of those persons in the state’s economics. For any weak economy, it is tough to sustain such losses for long.
2.7.2 Security problems for small and weak states like Bangladesh
Trafficking of massive scale may entail in security problems, in some poor countries like “Bangladesh. Though not very certainly, but relatively and contextually we can refer to the ‘push in’ incidents here. The high rate of trafficking is a stimulating factor that leads to the presumption that may be a good number of persons have been trafficked from here outside the sate periphery. Albeit, they may not be trafficked to the same destination. However, in a way it is creating a threat to state security.
2.7.3 Negative image of the country
For any responsible nation, trafficking is a stigma. It creates a negative image of a source country in international level. Interestingly destination countries do not fall in such image crisis. This is a very unacceptable paradox that negatively impacts even in interstate relations.
2.8 International level
2.8.1 Proliferation of market forces
In the modern world, market determines many aspects of our day to day conducts. It impacts ion our choice, selection, fashion, taste, temptation etc. This market centered philosophy projects human beings simply as consumers who will consume various products and commodities available in the market. Since trafficking to a great extent has facilitated the conversion of the status of Human beings into commodities; it in this way also serves a vital purpose for the market Philosophy. That is it ensures the stark proliferation of the market forces. Worldwide plexus of trafficking and its marketing trend are regularly giving feedback to those interactive forces.
2.8.2 Destination countries attempt to get an upper hand over source countries
From practical perspective status of a country stays on many issues. Trafficking in fact stigmatizes the source states by giving them a snide status. In the trafficking chain the latter destinations dominate the earlier stages. Therefore, the destination countries attempt to get an upper hand over source countries, by giving the latter a poor status.
LAW REGARDING TRAFFICKING IN BANGLADESH
Legal framework on anti-trafficking in Bangladesh consists of the constitutional provisions, statues with direct implication to trafficking as well as certain complementary laws. Laws that have direct and indirect bearing with the discourse of human trafficking are:
3.1 Constitutional Provisions
Although none of the Constitutional provisions has defined the term trafficking, the following provisions have direct and indirect bearing on trafficking:
Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh provides that state shall adopt effective measures to prevent prostitution and gambling. By undertaking the responsibility to prevent prostitution, Bangladesh Constitution has identified prostitution as an anti-social act.
Article 19 declares that state shall endeavor to ensure equality of opportunity to all citizens. This article further declares that “state shall adopt effective measures to remove social and economic inequality between man and woman……….. .” The statement about removal of social inequality between man and woman is crucially important in the context of seriously gender-biased Bangladesh society. Gendered cultural practices, gender discrimination and violence against women in families and communities lay the ground for trafficking.
By undertaking the responsibility to secure the provision of basic necessities of life and to guarantee employment, the Constitution has addressed poverty issue which is considered one of the root causes of trafficking.
Many counter-trafficking studies have identified lack of education as one of the major causes of trafficking. The Constitution provides that state shall adopt effective measures for the purpose of and extending free and compulsory education to all children to such stage as may be determined by law. Pursuant to this provision Bangladesh Government has enacted the Primary Education Act, 1990 which obliges the parents to send their children to school. As a strategy for promoting female education, Bangladesh government has undertaken some realistic measures including massive motivational work and incentive programmed. Primary education has been made free and compulsory. Food for education programmed introduced as incentives for attending school at primary level has been very recently substituted by providing stipends to every student. In order to increase the number of girl students at the secondary level and prevent them from dropping out, the government of Bangladesh introduced stipends for girl students.
By incorporating the provision on protection of life and liberty of every person, the constitution has provided a basis for legal framework to combat trafficking. ‘Life’ within the meaning of Article 32 of the Constitution means something more than mere animal existence. Right to life includes the right to live consistently with human dignity and decency. The meaning of ‘Life’ also includes the right to freely moving about and mixing and commingling with fellow human beings. Liberty, on the other hand, encompasses a wide range of things. It means the right of an individual to be free in the enjoyment of all his/her faculties to live and work where s/he will. The term “Liberty” under law extends to all those conducts which an individual is free to pursue and which cannot be restricted except for a proper governmental purpose. The act of trafficking of persons for any purpose deprives the victim of personal liberty to make decisions about his/her life establishing a condition of slavery and servitude. Trafficking in persons is one of the most despicable forms of violation of human dignity and decency.
Article 34 (1) of the Constitution has guaranteed the right to be free from exploitation by explicitly prohibiting forced labour of any form. Any act contravening to this provision is punishable as a criminal offence. This provision has also laid a constitutional basis of counter trafficking legal framework as it declares forced labour as a criminal offence against state.
The Constitution of Bangladesh has inserted a unique provision on making special laws in favour of women or children or for the advancement of any backward section of citizens. This provision recognized the fact that an equality clause without any qualification would promote status quo even though there is necessity to ameliorate the position of women, children and backward section of the people by applying the principle of equity rather than equality. There is no denying the fact that existing socio-economic and cultural practices in Bangladesh that marginalizes women and children is responsible for making them more vulnerable to trafficking Thus in view of the said provision of the Constitution Bangladesh Government may make laws providing to women, children and backward sections of the people such privileges as are not accorded to others.. The said Constitutional provision that empowers the government to make special laws has huge potential to make preventive measures to combat trafficking as well as to formulate necessary strategy to take good care of traffic victims.
Article 31 of the Constitution guarantees the right to protection of law to every citizen wherever s/he may be. The same article also guarantees the protection of law to non-citizens who are for the time being within Bangladesh.
The constitutional framework thus provides a partial basis for right based approach to combat trafficking. The Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh has addressed the issue of trafficking in the following ways:
The Bangladesh Constitution did not provide for any definition of trafficking in persons. Even nowhere in the Constitution the term trafficking in persons has been mentioned. Some exploitative conditions of trafficking such as prostitution, forced labour of any form have been mentioned in the Constitution primarily from a law and order perspective by declaring them a criminal law discourse.
The Constitution of Bangladesh, in Fundamental Rights Part, prohibits all forms of forced labour. Freedom of profession or occupation has also been guaranteed in the Constitution. To engage anybody against his/her will to any profession or occupation which is one of the main purposes of trafficking of human beings is, therefore, the violation of the fundamental rights guaranteed in the Constitution. While the Constitutional framework to combat trafficking provides a right-based approach partially, it fails to address the mental pain and anguish that is caused without physical or sexual violence. Fundamental right to be free from forced labour has been defined from traditional criminal justice perspective. It did not take into consideration the concept of restorative criminal justice. As a result the concern of justice for contravention of this right is confined to punishment of offenders only. While punishment is necessary to eliminate forced labour of any forms, the interest of protecting the dignity and rehabilitating – both psychologically and materially – of the victim of slavery and servitude must be equally important concern of justice.
The Constitution guarantees the repatriation of trafficked victims. Article 31 of the Constitution guarantees the right to protection of law to every citizen wherever s/he may be. In the case of Abdul Gafur v. Bangladesh, the High Court Division held that repatriation of trafficked victim languishing in foreign soil is a fundamental right under the Constitution of Bangladesh.
Bangladesh Constitution has some provisions that can be used to combat trafficking effectively. For example, article 28 (4) creates the space for state to make special laws for women, children and backward section of people. Women and children friendly special laws can help reduce human trafficking in Bangladesh.
3.2 Specific Laws Related to Counter Trafficking
3.2.1 The Penal Code 1860
The Penal Code deals with various offences related to trafficking, such as wrongful confinement and wrongful restraint, criminal force and assault to kidnapping, abduction, slavery, forced labour, rape, buying and selling of minors for the purpose of prostitution and other offences.
The Penal Code provides that whoever wrongfully confines any person shall be punished with imprisonment for a term, which may be 1 year to 3 years or fine of Taka 1000 or both depending on the number of days such a person is confined.
According to Penal Code, a person who is accused of kidnapping, or abduction another from Bangladesh is punished for a term, which may extend to 7 years.
Section 364A of the Penal Code provides that if any person kidnaps or abducts anyone under the age of 10 in order to subject such person to slavery or to the lust of any person shall be punished with death or with imprisonment for life or with rigorous imprisonment up to 14 years. On the other hand, kidnapping or abducting with intent to secretly and wrongfully confine is punishable with imprisonment which may extend to 7 years and with fine. The penalty for kidnapping or abduction of a woman with the intention of forcibly marrying her or forcing or seducing her to illicit intercourse is imprisonment for up to 10 years and fine. The punishment for the procurement of minor girls under 18 years of age and importation of girl from foreign country under the age of 21 and habitual dealing in slaves is a maximum sentence of 10 years. Buying and selling of minors under the age of 18 years for the purpose of prostitution or illicit intercourse or for any unlawful and immoral purpose is also punishable for up to 10 years imprisonment and fine. The punishment for unlawful compulsory labour is imprisonment for up to one year or fine or both.
3.2.2 The Children Act, 1974
This Act deals with custody, protection and treatment of children and also for trial and punishment of young offenders by juvenile courts. Chapter V of the Act deals with care and protection of destitute and neglected children awhile Part VI includes special offences in respect to children. This part describes penalties for different kinds of offences committed against a child, such as cruelty, employing for begging, handing over intoxicated liquor or dangerous drugs, exploitation, alluring the child to brothel, encouraging seduction and so forth. Section 41 of the Act states that whoever allows a child over the age of four to reside in or frequently to go to a brothel, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term extending up to two years or fine or both.
3.2.3 The Prevention of Repression against Women and Children Act, 2000
Sections 5 and 6 of this Act deal with trafficking of women and children for prostitution and other immoral purposes. According to section 5 of the Act, whoever imports or traffic or send any woman in abroad with the intention of using that woman in prostitution or for unlawful or immoral purposes or buys or sells or lets to hire or hands over for any kinds of torture or for similar purpose keeps a woman in his possession, care or custody, shall be punished with death sentence or life imprisonment or imprisonment for not more than 20 years and not less than 10 years and with fine. According to section 6 of the Act, whoever imports or send any child in abroad or traffic or buys or sells that child for unlawful or immoral purpose or for similar purpose keeps a woman in his possession, care or custody, shall be punished with death sentence or life imprisonment or imprisonment for not more than 20 years and not less than 10 years and with fine. The Act also prescribes punishment for rape and rape related death. Section 9 of the Act provides that if a man commits rape upon a woman or a child shall be punishable with death sentence and shall also, in addition to that, be liable to monetary fine.
The Act 2000 has undergone some important changes through amendments made to it in 2003. One of the important changes has been brought to ensure accountability of investigating officer regarding failure to complete investigation in stipulated time period. The newly inserted provision provides that if it is proved that investigation offer is responsible for failure to investigate within prescribed time, he will be held liable for inefficiency and misconduct and legal action can be brought against him according to the service rules. The amended section 20 provides for trial in camera for offences prescribed under the Act. One of the most striking features of the amendment is concerned with the provision on safe custody. According to this newly inserted provision, in granting order relating to safe custody, the tribunal will accept and consider the opinion of women and children to protect their welfare and interest.
Moreover, the amended provision also prescribes accountability for tribunal in case of failure to resolve the dispute within stipulated time period under the Act. According to newly inserted section 31A, if the case is not resolved within the time period, concerned tribunal will prepare a report stating the reasons for such failure and will submit the report within thirty days to the Supreme Court. Similarly, concerned public prosecutor and police officer will also prepare such report and submit to the government within thirty days from such failure to resolve case. The relevant authorities will take necessary action against the person/s for failure to resolve case within stipulated time period.
3.3 Complimentary Laws Relating to Anti-Trafficking Legal Regime in Bangladesh
3.3.1 The Extradition Act, 1974
This Act makes provisions for extradition of fugitive offenders for committing the offences described in the Schedule annexed to the Act. Following offences are related to trafficking:
- Procuring or trafficking in women or young persons for immoral purposes
- Kidnapping, abduction or dealing in slaves
- Stealing, abandoning, exposing or unlawfully detaining a child
- Aiding and abetting any person in committing the abovementioned offences.
3.3.2 The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1980
One of the root causes of trafficking of women in Bangladesh is domestic violence. The major source of domestic violence is non-payment or partial payment of dowry.
Section 2 of this Act defines dowry as any property or valuable security given or agreed to be given either directly or indirectly (a) by one party to a marriage to the other party to the marriage; or (b) by the parents of either party to a marriage or by any other person related to either party to the marriage.
Section 6 of the Act further states that dowry not only includes money etc. agreed to be paid before or at the time of the marriage but also money etc. demanded afresh after the marriage for continuing the marriage already solemnized.
The Act also prescribes punishment for demanding and for giving and taking dowry. According to the Act, if any person demands, directly or indirectly, from the parents or guardians of a bride or bridegroom, as the case may be any dowry, he/she shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend from 1 year to 5 years or with fine or with both. On the other hand, giving, taking or abetting the giving or taking of dowry is punishable with imprisonment or with fine or with both.
3.3.3 The Bangladesh Labour Code, 2006
The Labour Act adopted in 2006 has replaced many labour laws which were related to labour and child welfare having bearing on anti-trafficking measures. The newly enacted Labour Act, 2006, which comprehensively covers most of the aspects of labour laws, prohibits employment of children and young persons. Section 34 of the Act states that no child shall be required or allowed to work in any profession or establishment. Again section 35 of the Code provides that no parents or guardian of a child can make contract of employment of a child giving permission to work with anyone.
3.3.4 Primary Education Act, 1990
This Act directs the parents/ guardians to send their children to primary schools. Anybody failing to comply with this direction without reasonable cause may be punished with financial penalty which may extend to Taka 200.
3.3.5 The Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1929
The Act prohibits child marriage. Any adult male who marries a girl under 16 years and any parent or guardian who facilities this crime is liable for punishable offence.
COMPERATIVE STUDY REGARDING TRAFFICKING IN VARIOUS COUNTRIES
Trafficking is a problem that affects virtually every country of the world. Generally, the flow of trafficking is from less developed countries to industrialize or towards neighboring countries with marginally higher standards of living. The main reason thereof is poverty, illiteracy, cultural practice of the society, which turns women and children into patented and saleable commodities. Among the third world countries are geographically and economically backward. Low yielding agricultural lands, lack of literacy, no alternate source of employment resulting economic hardships and no improvement in living standard mark the rural scenarios of this region. These circumstances provide an ideal environment for the genesis of prostitution, perversion and crime. Besides poverty, survival compulsion and shady dealings made by shaming parsimonious aunts, uncles, neighbors and other family members opt a person to choose prostitution as the profession. This leads to a life of glamour and luxury. Thus, poverty alone is not the cause of prostitution any more . The institutionalization of prostitution as integral part of the tourism industry today is indeed a matter of concern for all nations. Professional call girls operate at various levels depending upon the paying potentials of the customers. In the context of Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, such sex workers mostly come from very poor families. The extent of their penury is such that they have nothing other than their body to sell to earn two meals for the family. All countries believe that trafficking of people, especially women and children for prostitution and forced labor is one of the fastest growing national and international criminal activities. Human trafficking is growing daily plugging the globe. In one hand the sickening sex industry is flourishing because of its clandestine and lucrative nature and on the other hand it has to be dealt with wider and stern laws with its effective enforcement. Meanwhile the government so concerned has to combat with these problems, protect the rights of victims and rehabilitate them into the community. For the fulfillment of the said purpose there requires wide vision, close understanding, cooperation, and honest commitment of nations.
4.1 Legal Provision of Nepal as Regards to Trafficking:
Sub-article (1) of Article 20 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal has the provision as regards to prohibition of trafficking, which states that traffic in human beings, slavery, serfdom or forced labor in any form is prohibited. Any contravention of this provision shall be punishable by law. There have been found two more laws as regards to trafficking in Person in Nepal. One of them is the Muluki Act , 2020 (1963) (the Country Code) and another is Trafficking in Person (Control) Act , 2043 (1986). The following provisions have been made as regards to thereof in the said Acts.
4.1.1 Muluki Act, 2020 (1963) (the Country Code):
o.1. of the said Act states that “No individual shall take any person by temptation out of the territory of Nepal with the intention of trafficking. If the individual is arrested before selling the person being taken to foreign land, he or she will be imprisoned for ten years, but if the victim is already sold, the culprit shall be imprisoned for twenty years. If buyer of the victim is apprehended within the territory of Nepal, he or she shall also receive a penalty equal to that of the seller. Accomplices in such criminal acts shall receive half the penalty meted out to the main culprit.
No. 2 states that ” No one shall lure to minor not attained the age of sixteen years or insane with any age for separating him from legal guardian without his consent.
No.3 states that ” No one shall be allowed to make anyone slave and serfdom.
4.1.2 Trafficking in Person (Control) Act, 2043 (1986)
- Section 3 states that no one shall carry out the act of trafficking in person.
- Section 4 states that the following acts are deemed to be trafficking in person:
(a) To commit act of trafficking in person for the purpose,
(b) To bring anyone abroad with a view to trafficking,
(c) To engage any woman in prostitution by luring or tempting or deceiving or by showing fear or terror or putting pressure or by any other manner,
(d) To fabricate in order to commit any act as set forth in the clauses above or to assist in order to commit such act or to abet any one in order to engage him in such act or to attempt in order to commit such act.
- Section 8 of the said Act has the following provisions as regards to the punishment for trafficking in person.
(a) Person, who commits the act of trafficking in person, shall be punished with imprisonment of a period from ten years to twenty years.
(b) Person, who brings human being abroad with a view to committing trafficking, shall be punished with imprisonment of a period from five years to ten years.
(c) Person, who engages women in prostitutions by luring or tempting or deceiving or by showing fear or terror or putting pressure or by any other manner, shall be punished with imprisonment of a period from ten years to fifteen years.
(d) Person, who fabricates in order to commit the acts of trafficking in person or to assist in committing such acts or abet any one in order to engage him in such acts or to attempt in order to commit such act, shall be punished with imprisonment of a period up to five years.
(e) In trafficking person, the principal amount of a person, who purchased human being shall be worthless and a person, who sold human being, shall be, imposed a fine as per the amount of the said principal in addition to the punishment as referred to in Sub-section (1).
4.2 Legal Provisions of India as Regards to Trafficking
The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act , 1956 (as amended) of India has the following provisions for trafficking:
Section 3 of the said Act has the provision of punishment for keeping a brothel or allowing premises to be used as brother and the said provision states that any person who keeps or manages, or acts or assists in the keeping or management of a brothel shall be punishable.
Section 4 of the same Act has the provision of punishment for the living on the earnings of prostitution, which states that any person over the age of eighteen years who knowingly lives, wholly or in part, on the earnings of the prostitution of any other person shall be punishable.
Section 5 of the said Act states that any person who procures or attempts to procure a person, whether with or without his/her consent, for the purpose of prostitution. or induces a person to go from any place, with the intent that he may for the purpose of prostitution become the inmate of or frequent, a brothel; or takes or attempts to take a person, or cause a person to be taken, from one place to another with a view to his carrying on or being brought up to carry on prostitution; or cause or induces a person to carry on prostitution.
Section 6 of the same Act states that the any person who detains any other person, whether with or without his consent in any brothel, or in or upon any premises with intent that such person may have sexual intercourse with a person who is not the spouse of such person, where any person is found with a child in a brothel, it shall be presumed, unless the contrary is proved, that he has committed an offense under sub-section (1), shall be punishable.
Similarly, Section 7, 8 and 9 have the provisions as regards to prostitution in or in the vicinity of public place, seducing or soliciting for purpose of prostitution and seduction of a person in custody respectively.
4.3. Legal Provision of Pakistan as Regards to Trafficking:
Pakistan’s Zina Hudoo Ordinance , 1979 has the following provision against trafficking and prostitution in Pakistan.
Sections 13 of the said Act has the provision that whoever sells, lets to hire, or otherwise disposes of any person with intent that such person shall at any time be employed or used for the purpose of prostitution or illicit intercourse with any person or for any unlawful and immoral purpose, or knowing it to be likely that such person will at any time be employed or used for any such purpose shall be punished with imprisonment for life and with whipping not exceeding thirty stripes, and shall also be liable to fine.
Section 14 of the said Act states the whoever buys, hires or otherwise obtains possession of any person with intent that such person shall at any time be employed or used for the purpose of prostitution of illicit intercourse with any person or for any unlawful and immoral purpose, or knowing it to be likely that such person will at any time be employed or used for any such purpose, shall be punished with imprisonment for life and with whipping not exceeding thirty stripes, and shall also be liable to fine.
Section 16 of the same Ac states that whoever takes or entices away any woman with intent that she may have illicit intercourse with any person or conceals or detain with that intent any woman, shall be punished with the imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years and with whipping not exceeding thirty stripes, and shall be liable to fine.
Section 340 of the said Act has the provision that whoever wrongfully restraints any person in such a manner as to prevent that person from proceeding beyond certain circumscribing limits is said, “wrongfully to confine that person”.
Section 366 A of the said Act states that whoever by means whatsoever, induces any minor girl under the age of eighteen years to go from any place or to do any act with the intent that such girl may be or knowing that it is likely that she will be forced or seduced to illicit intercourse with another person shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to ten years and shall also be liable to fine.
Similarly, Section 366 B of the said Act states that whoever imports into Pakistan from any country outside Pakistan any girl under the age twenty-one years with intent that she may be or knowing that it is likely that she will be forced or seduced to illicit intercourse with another person shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to ten years and shall also be liable to fine.
Section 367 of the said Act has the provision that whoever kidnaps or abducts any person in order that such person may be subjected or may be so disposed of as to be put in danger of being subjected to grievous hurt or slavery or knowing it to likely that such person will be so subjected or disposed of shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years and shall also be liable to fine.
Section 370 of the said Act states that whoever import, exports, removes, buys, sells, or disposes of any person as slave, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall be liable to fine; whoever habitually imports, exports, removes, buys, sells, traffics or deals in slaves shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term not exceeding ten years shall also be liable to fine and whoever voluntarily obstructs any person so as to prevent that person from proceeding in any direction in which that person has a right to proceed is said. “ Wrongfully to restrain that person.”
4.4. Legal Provision of the Srilanka as Regards to Trafficking
The Sri Lankan Penal Code (as amended) Act , 1995 (Act No. 22) has the following provisions as regards to trafficking.
• Clause C (1) of Section 360 of the said Act has the provision that whoever engages in the act of buying or selling or bartering of any person for money or for any other consideration.
• The said Clause also has the provision for the purpose of promoting, facilitating or inducing the buying or selling or bartering or the placement in adoption, of any person for money or for any other consideration, arranges for or assists, a child to travel to a foreign country without the consent of his parent or lawful guardian, or obtains an affidavit of consent from a pregnant woman for money or for any other consideration for the adoption of the unborn child or such women; or recruits women or couples to bear children: or being a person concerned with the registration of births, knowingly permits the falsification of any birth record or register engages in procuring children from hospitals, shelters for women clinics, nurseries, day care centers, for money or other consideration or procures a child for adoption from any such institution or center, by intimidation of the mother or any other person; or impersonates, the mother or assists in such impersonation commits the offence of trafficking and shall on conviction be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term not less than two years and not exceeding twenty years and may also be punished with fine and where such offence is committed in respect of a child, be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term not less than five years and not exceeding twenty years and may also be punished with fine.
4.5 Legal Provision of Bangladesh as Regards to Trafficking
The Women and Children Repression Prevention Act , 2000 of Bangladesh has the following provisions as regards to trafficking.
- The said Act has the provision that whoever brings from abroad or sends or traffics abroad, or buys or sells, or lets to hire or otherwise disposes of any woman with the intention of using that woman in prostitution or using for illicit intercourse or for any unlawful or immoral purpose or for such a purpose keeps a woman in his possession, care or custody.
• If any woman is sold, hired or disposed off in any way to a prostitute or to any person who keeps or manages a brothel.
• Whoever keeps or manages brothel, buys or hires or gets in their possession by any other way or keeps in their custody any woman.
- Whoever brings from abroad sends or traffics abroad or buys or sells or otherwise keeps a child in his/her possession, care or custody with the intention of using the child for any unlawful or immoral purpose.
- Steals a newborn baby from hospital, child or maternity hospital, nursing home, clinic etc, or from the custody of concerned guardians shall be punishable in accordance with sub-section as well as there is the provision of punishment for kidnapping and abduction of women and children.
The people and the government of Bangladesh have consistently and steadfastly stood up against all forms of trafficking in persons particularly in women and children. Bangladesh has been striving earnestly to combat this problem, but the efforts have been circumscribed by the demand for trafficked woman and children in recipient countries a problem that is not possible for Bangladesh alone to overcome. It has also been found to fully overcome this menace Bangladesh will have to win its war against poverty, which is one of the factors contributing to the trafficking in women and children. At the same time the countries of final destinations or countries used as transit must cooperate with Bangladesh to find appropriate actions to address this issue. However, due caution is to be exercised against any repressive actions to curb women’s mobility for access to income opportunities and not to criminalize trafficked victims .
5.1.1. Legal Reforms
Bangladesh has several laws governing children’s and women’s rights but they are not consolidated in one statute. Instead, they are scattered in various laws and statutes, such as Constitutional provisions, the Penal code, the Children’s act 1974 and the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act, Prosecutors have been designed in 42 tribunals for conducting these cases. A deputy Attorney General has been designated for dealing with cases in trafficking in women and children at national level. This initiate was taken to facilitate the quick disposal of causes related to trafficking in women and children .
5.2.1. Rescue and recovery of Trafficked Persons
Rescue is a thorny issue, and has its limitations and unacceptability, largely due to the attitude and violent behaviour of the law-enforcing agencies. Newspapers often carry items about “many women and children are rescued by the police”, but what happens to the rescued persons is largely unknown. These rescue processes are often violent, aggressive, and ‘male-dominated’ .
Sometimes the minors are sent to the state-run remand homes or an NGO shelter. Most are unable to go back home because of a whole series of problems, and when they are released they are again at risk of being picked up by the traffickers.
Rehabilitation is the most challenging activity that requires a pragmatic programme of action to restore the trafficked women and girls in their social life. Various papers have mentioned the need of rehabilitation programmes with proper employment opportunities. However, the prevailing norms and value systems of our society do not easily accept the returnees in family and social life.
‘Repatriation’ means voluntary return to the country of origin of the person subjected to trafficking across international frontiers. The minors have no choice, and they have to be taken back to their place of origin, but an adult women has the right to choose to stay in the country if she so wishes. The choice of women is not even considered, because the focus has always been to protect the interest of state over and above the interest of women.
‘Reintegration’ means social and economic integration acknowledging her right to self-determination. It is a better alternative to rehabilitation and implies a far less judgmental. Most importantly, it incorporates the notion of social acceptance and the reclaiming of dignity for women. However, often the societies become judgmental in re-integrating the victims into the society.
RECOMMENDATIONS & CONCLUSION
Economic determinism is a pivotal factor in trafficking in women and children. Both the rich and the poor want the good things of life: The rich want to get richer, and the poor do not want to go to prison. Both are pursuing wealth through various means—but some want to get wealthy by all means. Therefore, controlling the excesses of some people in their pursuit of wealth is the only way out of this mess. The trafficking of women and children is a nerve-racking problem in some regions of the world, where resources for human survival are very scarce, such as Northern Thailand, rural Cambodia, disorganized Newly Independent States of Eastern Europe, arid regions of Africa, and countries whose populations grow faster than available resources, such as India, Mexico, and several Latin American nations. The trafficking issue is closely linked with the human rights issue with important ramifications in the area of health, law enforcing and socioeconomic development in general. Poverty, attitudes toward women and deeply entrenched gender discrimination, unemployment, cultural norms about marriage, well-organized national and international networks of traffickers, and weak law-enforcing agencies are few critical relating to trafficking of women and children in Bangladesh.
“Trafficking in human beings constitutes both a cause and consequence of human rights violations. It is a cause of human rights violations because it violates fundamental human rights such as the right to life, the right to dignity and security, the right to just and favorable conditions of work, the right to health, the right to equality and the right to be recognized as a person before the law. It is a consequence because it is rooted in poverty, inequality and discrimination – Mary Robinson, Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) at a recent international conference on transnational crime. Although more studies need to be conducted to shed light on trafficking antecedents, there are already several reports documenting the trafficking issues in Bangladesh. There is a need for studies that can generate first hand information on social, economic, political and health implications of the problem. It is critical also to identify the current and potential roles of the government and NGOs and also in what ways civil society contributes to this immoral practice. Here in this study, I have discussed basically trafficking problem at present in Bangladesh. Besides what are the issues invoking with that matter, how NGOs they play their roll to find out the problems, their strategies, what are the effects of such trafficking activities in Bangladesh, what types of steps should be taken by the Govt., our environment, our political influences, national laws which exist now in Bangladesh, international provisions which exist now in the whole world and moral liabilities which are available before us etc. have been discussed in this study paper. All the citizens of this country should be aware about this issue trafficking, we should take necessary strategies to prevent it and Govt. must be very much rigid and active to take necessary legal actions for the abolishment of trafficking of women and children from Bangladesh.
Bangladesh has made significant and noteworthy changes in their legal provisions to address the issue of trafficking, exploitation and violence against women and children .
5.1.2. Penal Code, 1860 with Amendments to Section 366A and 366B in 2001
The amendment of section 366 now prohibits inducing a girl under 18 years of age to go from any place or to do any act with the intent that she will forced to or seduced into having illicit intercourse. Section 366B prohibits imposing a girl below 21 years of age with the intent that she will be forced or seduced into having illicit intercourse. These were added to support the international Convention for the Suppression of trafficking in Women and Children and to punish people involved in the export and import of girls for purposes of prostitution .
5.1.3. Child Prostitution
According to the Suppression of Immoral Traffic Act, 1933 no girl under 18 years of age may not be engaged in sex trade. According to section 42 of the Children Act, 1974 no girl under 16 years of age, either willingly or through coercion is permitted to work as a sex worker. However, none of those acts makes any reference to boys engaged in sex trade or forced prostitution.
5.1.4 Women and Children Repression Prevention Act, 2000 (Amendment in 2003)
This contains specific penalties for trafficking in women and children with a provision for death sentence or life imprisonment; and Amendment to women and children Repression Prevention Act, 2003: in this revision a child has been defined as a person of the age of 16. At present all offences relating to trafficking in women and children are tried under the Act of 2000, as amended up to 2003.
5.1.5. Special tribunals for Prevention of Repression against women and children
Under Women and Children Repression Prevention Act 2000 (as amended 2003) 42 special Tribunals have been established in 33 districts of the country and a special judge has been posted to each tribunal for trying cases only relating to violence against women and children including trafficking in women and children. 42 special Public Prosecutors / Public