Oftentimes, this progress is limited to a handful of remarkable cases and does not bring a systemic change into effect
The scourge of trafficking, an appalling violation of human rights, continues to be a blight on our nation even in 2021.
According to a recent US report, titled “2021 Trafficking in Persons Report,” Bangladesh has made considerable progress in tackling human trafficking, but continues to fall short in many crucial areas, as a result of which we are still ranked in Tier 2.Our efforts to prosecute more, especially in the case of labour traffickers, and operate relevant tribunals have been commendable. Additionally, working with foreign governments on transnational cases and launching investigations into fraudulent tactics intended to deceive migrant workers are also markers of an increasingly progressing nation.
However, oftentimes, this progress is limited to a handful of remarkable cases and does not bring a systemic change into effect. This is especially the case for official complicity in human trafficking cases, which is utterly inexcusable, and indicative of the broader, more far-reaching consequences of the country’s culture of impunity.
What we need, therefore, is a holistic approach that not only tackles immediate cases of human trafficking, but delves into its systemic causes, and pays particular heed to the experiences of marginalized and vulnerable populations, such as children, sex workers, and the Rohingya.
As with many, if not most other systemic issues in Bangladesh, tackling the culture of impunity, especially among government officials who choose to look the other way or even openly facilitate crimes as severe as human trafficking, must be a priority. When it comes to ensuring our people’s security and fundamental human rights, we still have a long way to go.