Human Trafficking and Prostitution
INTRODUCTION: Human trafficking and prostitution both are not new issues to get noticed. In south Asian countries, human trafficking and prostitution are getting out of focus as if there is no right called human right. Bangladesh is one of the south asian countries where human rights are not developed yet.
Human trafficking, especially in children and women, has been increasing in Bangladesh. This criminal business is linked with the globalization and this business is growing across the world. Human trafficking, in fact, is a trade in human flesh, particularly when girls fall prey to it. After the trafficking part, prostitution comes in second. Most of the time it has been seen that trafficked women or children works as prostitution in other countries. Some over 25,000 women and children are trafficked out of the Bangladesh to other countries every year, which is very alarming for Bangladesh. In terms for human trafficking and prostitution women and children are the most common victims than men. “Bangladesh is called a „source? country as men, women and children from poorer and vulnerable families are collected and smuggled out of India, Pakistan, UAE, Europe, America etc”.
As a developing country Bangladesh is not aware of the Human Right (trafficking or prostitution) which is mandatory for a civilized nation. Bangladeshi government is not taking effective steps to get rid of human trafficking and prostitution problems. In Bangladesh mainly poor people are getting involved into that problem. Lack of proper monitoring, controlling and effective implementation of law against human trafficking and prostitution are the root causes of that problem. There are enough laws in Bangladesh on human rights but most of them are inactive that is why criminals are getting chances to do more crime. Because of poor execution of laws most the victims are not getting right justice. If Bangladesh government takes efficient steps to minimize that problem then the human rights will be survived otherwise proper civilization can not be made for Bangladeshi people.
HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND PROSTITUTION IN BANGLADESH
Human trafficking involves transporting people away from the communities in which they live by the threat or use of violence, deception or coercion so that they can be exploited as forced or enslaved workers for sex or labor. When children are trafficked, no violence, deception or coercion needs to be involved, it is merely the act of transporting them into exploitative work constitutes trafficking. The Constitution states that each individual is entitled to choose her own profession/occupation or trade. Taking advantage of the vulnerability of the poverty-stricken or opportunity seeking people, unscrupulous persons (flesh traders) force, entice, lure or sell minors and other gullible persons into prostitution. They make them execute affidavits in front of false magistrates/impersonators stating that they have gone into prostitution of their own volition and they are over 18 years old.
Most reports emphasize that, in recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of children and women being trafficked from Bangladesh into India and other countries. The causes of trafficking and the factors leading to this apparent increases in recent years are multiple and complicated. These factors are embedded within the socioeconomic structure of the country and require an in-depth analysis. According to the trafficking record it has been seen that there are some group which are becoming victims, those groups can be categorized as poor women and children, abandoned women, widows and separated women, girls of broken families, migrants, ethnic minorities. Those trafficked victims are used for forced labor (domestic work, farm work, and factory work), forced sexual service (prostitution, barmaids, work in sex tourism industry and pornography), begging, smuggling, organ sale, camel jockeying.
In Bangladesh there are some approaches of human trafficking some of those are selling a person by family members, neighbor, and friends, luring out a person with a promise of job or marriage, kidnapping a person. Most of the cases women and children are generally recruited from rural areas or small towns. In the transshipment process they are handed over and taken over by numerous procurers, brokers and intermediaries, usually not known to authorities as ones with criminal. Traffickers usually take help of local people and villagers to identify poor families. Traffickers operate in an internal network having agents make contracts with unsuspecting women and children around bus and train stations.
Prostitution is legal in Bangladesh but according to our culture and community system that does not go with Bangladesh. According to the law Female prostitution with minimum age 18 is legal. Male prostitution is illegal. Female prostitution is legal, Male prostitution is illegal, although local NGOs claimed it is common in the major cities. The authorities generally ignored the minimum age of 18, often circumvented by false statements of age, for legal female prostitution. The government rarely prosecuted procurers of minors, and large numbers of underage girls in prostitution worked in brothels. Local NGOs estimated the total number of female prostitutes was as many as 100,000. The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimated in 2004 that there were
10,000 underage girls used in commercial sexual exploitation in the country, but other estimates placed the figure as high as 29,000. Trafficking of women internally and internationally remained a problem 6. As many as 10,000 children were used in brothels for commercial sexual exploitation, and procurers of minors were rarely prosecuted. Government corruption greatly facilitated the process of trafficking. Police and local government officials often ignored trafficking in women and children for commercial sexual exploitation and were easily bribed by brothel owners and pimps.
Trafficking and Prostitution’s Routes in Bangladesh:
6 US Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, “2008 Human Rights Report: Bangladesh,” 7 Rahman Mahfuzur , Human Trafficking: Children and Women are the worst victims. (Bangladesh: News Network, 2004). P. 25
Bangladesh and India have 4,222 km of common borders stretching over 28 districts of Bangladesh. According to sources, Brahmanbaria, Chittagong, Chuadanga, Comilla, Cox?s Bazar, Dinajpur, Jessore, Jhenaidah, Joypurhat, Jushtia, Lalmonirhat, Meherpur, Chapainawabganj, Nilpahar, Panchagarh, Rajshahi and Satkhira are the districts through which children and women are frequently smuggled out of the country. Now this trafficking and prostitution are not included in just India, now speeded in other countries as Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, China, Myanmar, Thailand, Japan 7.
Purposes of Human Trafficking and Prostitution in Bangladesh:
Bangladesh is not a developed country so many sufferings are here for people. Poor people suffer a lot as food problem, health problem, sanitation, cloth problem, education problem and some other sufferings, there is no end. From these problems those people get involved in unethical works. Some part of the people take chances of suffered people and use them for trafficking or protection. So the number of trafficked and prostitute are increasing in Bangladesh day by day. Poverty is certainly driving rural young women to cities. They take job in the garment factories or work as housemaids or in any other sectors. Their employers sexually abuse and harass them and finally drive them thus loosing chastity to the profession of prostitution. Prostitution is not a new phenomenon in Bangladesh. Religion although does not permit prostitution, its law does not prevent a woman from becoming a prostitute if she likes to be. This oldest institution having enrooted deep in the society can not be abolished overnight. None can, however, define human prostitution simply as the use of sexual responses for an ulterior purpose. This would include a great portion of all social behavior, especially that of women. It would include marriage, for example, wherein women trade their sexual favors for an economic and social status supplied by men. Being repressed under growing economic crises, women and minor girls are forced to engage in prostitution for survival. More and more children are joining this profession. While most of them initiate this profession under the repression of economic hardship they are exposed to several vulnerabilities. They are forced to share their hard-earned money with a third party. Guardian such as elder sisters, brothers, parents are accepting this profession. It is difficult to have the statistics of floating and hotel sex workers since they neither have any particular locations nor do they maintain any registration. It is important to ensure proper implementation of the laws regarding the rights of the sex workers and to ensure their total liberty so that they can take as many clients as their bodies permit. However, Hotel sex working is an emerging dynamics of sex working in Bangladesh in terms of the rate and volumes with the declining trend of brothel sex with the subsequent eviction of the oldest and biggest brothels in Bangladesh.
Law against Human Trafficking and Prostitution:
Laws and rules are available in Bangladesh but problem is the execution of law is the main problem. We do not practice what is according to the law and rules. The power of law is bit low here that is why the crime and corruption rates are increasing in Bangladesh day by day. In the case of trafficker and business of prostitution, laws are not becoming very effective against that.
Under Bangladesh?s Suppression of Violence Against Women and Children act (2000) trafficking of women and children is illegal. Harsh penalties are prescribed for traffickers. However, this law is frequently not implemented and fails to safeguard the rights of people who have been trafficked.
Most of the trafficked women in Bangladesh end up as young prostitutes. Young girls from poor families, lures by offers of jobs, marriage, invariably land into brothels on both sides of the border. According to the suppression of immoral Trafficking Act 1933, provides for punishment for forcing a girl into prostitution. In Section 11 of the Act provides a penalty of maximum three years of imprisonment or fine or both9.
RECOMMENDATION Human Trafficking and Prostitution is not a local problem but global problem. Bangladesh government is aware of the problem of trafficking and has taken up measures to prevent it. One such measure is the strengthening of border posts. However, the sheer length of Bangladesh’s border with India and Burma makes it impossible to prevent people crossing the borders. Another measure is the strengthening of legislation and increasing punishments for trafficking. There are some steps which can help to minimize the social problem of Human trafficking and Prostitution which are mentioned below:
Strengthening laws against unethical works (trafficking, smuggling etc.)
Increasing Government monitoring system and controlling system.
Permitting more NGOs and social agents to increase awareness (A uniform plan of action on the issue of trafficking of women and children involving the governments and NGOs of the region needs to be developed, so that a coordinated approach toward the conviction of traffickers is possible)
Minimizing the rate of corruption and fulfilling the basic rights of human being.
Increasing media exposure and social awareness activities.(for example media’s reporting and social activities on creation of awareness have been effective in making people aware of the deceptive mechanisms adopted by the agents of trafficking.)
Government can take measures by which people have complete control over food and livelihood.
Increasing the Awareness-raising Program, Monitoring and Support Services to victims.
CONCLUSION 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 factors relating to trafficking of women and children in Bangladesh. This criminal activity cannot be addressed through tougher laws alone. Several legislations, including the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act, 2000, already provide penalties for violence against women and children, including trafficking and kidnapping. Yet, implementation of these legislations remains a formidable challenge. In Bangladesh social and economic vulnerability of women and children have left them with only a few options to eke out a livelihood. For that reason crimes are increasing as well as Environmental degradation, ecological erosion all these systems further accelerate the process. So the traffickers are taking advantages of that situation also prostitution business is getting higher. The government must take effective measures to defeat the rising problem of human trafficking and prostitution.
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 Rahman Mahfuzur , Human Trafficking: Children and Women are the worst victims. (Bangladesh: News Network, 2004). P. 09
 “Some 25,000 women and children are trafficked out of Bangladesh to other countries every year, according to the reports” (Rahman Mahfuzur, 2004, p. 09)
 Rahman Mahfuzur , Human Trafficking: Children and Women are the worst victims. (Bangladesh: News Network, 2004). P. 09
 4 Shamim I. Child trafficking and sale. Report submitted to Bangladesh Shisu Adhikar Forum as part of the project of case studies on child abuse, exploitation and oppression. Dhaka: Center for Women and Children Studies, 2004. 88 p. 5
 Rahman Mahfuzur , Human Trafficking: Children and Women are the worst victims. (Bangladesh: News Network, 2004). P. 14
 8 Suppression of Violence Against Women and Children Act (2000) 9 Bangladesh CEDAW report, 1 April 1997