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US ambassador visits Bangladesh to monitor and combat human trafficking

  • Published at 11:55 pm August 8th, 2019
John Cotton Richmond,
John Cotton Richmond Collected

Ambassadors Miller and Richmond applauded passage of the 2018-2022 National Action Plan

US Ambassador-at-Large, John Cotton Richmond, visited Bangladesh to discuss ways to  monitor and combat trafficking in persons.

The ambassador engaged with Government of Bangladesh (GOB) officials and partners from August 3 to August 6, to encourage measurable progress in implementing the recommendations of the Department of State’s annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report.

US Ambassador to Bangladesh, Earl R. Miller, joined Ambassador Richmond for meetings in Dhaka with government officials of five Ministries: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Law, Justice, and Parliamentary Affairs, the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Social Welfare, and the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment.

The ambassadors applauded the passage of the 2018-2022 National Action Plan and emphasized the importance of prosecution, protection, and prevention in combating human trafficking. 

They discussed concerns about traffickers exploiting legal recruitment fees to trap migrant workers in debt-based coercion, and the need to identify internal forced labour and sex trafficking, increase accountability for traffickers, and providing victim support services.

In Cox’s Bazar, the two reviewed with the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner, vulnerabilities in trafficking specific to the Rohingya population, steps the GOB can take to limit these vulnerabilities, and best practices for handling these trafficking cases. 

They also met with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees protection teams, to expand on steps the GOB can take to limit vulnerabilities in human trafficking from within the Rohingya population, and to more comprehensively address related human-trafficking cases.

The delegation also met with trafficking victims at the USAID funded Young Power in Social Action TIP Shelter, and heard about the reintegration services the shelter provides to survivors.

With a group of law students, they discussed the importance of effective prosecution in human trafficking case,; the differences between smuggling and human trafficking, whether internal or external, and the importance of the annual TIP Report and implications of Bangladesh’s third consecutive Tier 2 Watch List ranking.

Ambassadors Miller and Richmond engaged international partners and the diplomatic community, including other chiefs of mission, at events throughout the visit on the importance of combating human trafficking.

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