Bangladesh has been downgraded to the Tier 2 Watch List from Tier 2 in US human trafficking report 2017 as Bangladesh government has not fully met the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.
As per the Trafficking in Persons
report released by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday, the government here is making significant efforts in preventing human trafficking.
However, Bangladesh had been on the Tier-2 list for the last five consecutive years.
Some 45 countries including Saudi Arabia, Oman, Pakistan, Serbia, Thailand and Zimbabwe are in the Tier 2 Watch list, which means these countries do not fully comply with the TVPA’s minimum standards, but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards AND:
a) The absolute number of victims of severe forms of trafficking is very significant or is significantly increasing;
b) There is a failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons from the previous year; or
c) The determination that a country is making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with minimum standards was based on commitments by the country to take additional future steps over the next year.
According to the report
, Bangladesh government demonstrated significant efforts during the reporting period by finalising and adopting the implementing rules for the 2012 Prevention and Suppression of Human Trafficking Act (PSHTA) in January 2017 and drafting an implementation roadmap for the 2015-2017 national action plan.
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“However, the government did not demonstrate increasing efforts compared to the previous reporting period. The government’s investigations, prosecutions, and convictions of trafficking crimes decreased.
“Official complicity in trafficking crimes remained a serious problem, yet the government did not make efforts to investigate, prosecute, and convict allegedly complicit law enforcement, border, and manpower officials.
“The number of victims identified by the government decreased. The government remained without a formal mechanism to refer trafficking victims to protective services and, protection services, when acquired, did not provide rehabilitation services designed for trafficking victims’ specific needs nor were they provided for adult male victims. NGOs reported victims were frequently re-trafficked due to insufficient care,” the report added.
The report made some recommendations including taking steps to eliminate all recruitment fees charged to workers by licensed labour recruiters and instead ensure they are paid by employers.
It also suggests establishing guidelines for provision of adequate victim care and standard operating procedures for the referral of victims to such services and expansion of the support services available to victims, including adult male victims, within Bangladesh and at Bangladesh’s embassies abroad.