According to USAID statistics, a record 1,008,525 Bangladeshis migrated as labourers in 2017 and 13% of them were women
Speakers at an event yesterday emphasized that it is everyone’s responsibility to prevent and end human trafficking.
They also stressed the need to produce a global protocol to punish human trafficking as well as an act to protect the victims.
The call came from a panel discussion at the National Press Club marking this year’s World Day against Trafficking in Persons with the global theme “Responding to the Trafficking of Children and Young People.” Bangladesh, along with many other countries, observed the day yesterday.
Seventeen organizations, including donor agencies, international non-governmental organizations and national-level organizations jointly organized a human chain and the discussion. National Human Rights Commission Chairman Kazi Rezaul Hoque was present as the chief guest of the event.
Speakers said the victims are usually forced to work - either hard labour or prostitution - for no reward. Their identities and documents are also taken away and are threatened with dire consequences if they try to escape, they added.
They further said the victims are often taken to countries with an unfamiliar language and as a result they have no way of getting help.
The speakers also pointed out that the return rate of Bangladeshi women workers from the Middle East has increased alarmingly.
According to USAID statistics, a record 1,008,525 Bangladeshis migrated as labourers in 2017 and 13% of them were women.
Addressing the panel discussion, Vincent Gule, protection officer at UNHCR, stressed the raising of awareness to encourage vigilance and gain support for prevention of human trafficking. He also emphasized on the need to produce a protocol to punish human trafficking as well as an act to protect victims of trafficking.
The participants urged everyone to further strengthen partnerships and seek solutions to protect the health, well-being and potential of children in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.
Last year, having suffered from various types of exploitation, 2,906 female workers took shelter in the safe home of the Bangladesh Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
This year, around 1,000 female workers who returned to Bangladesh were found to have been exploited in Saudi Arabia.
In December 2017, a call centre was opened at the Wage Earners Welfare Board to receive complaints from expatriate workers. Over the first six months of 2018, 940 complaints have been made, 95% of which have been complaints coming from the Middle East.