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Monday, June 22, 2015, Ashar 8, 1422 BS, Ramadan 4, 1436 Hijr

Call to try those involved in trafficking
Staff Correspondent
Published : Monday, 22 June, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM,  View Count : 9
Fair investigation against the alleged human traffickers is not possible unless the officials involved in the crime are not removed temporarily from their posts and those involved in the illegal trafficking crime should be tried.
Speakers came up with this observation at a roundtable discussion on 'Human Trafficking-Bangladesh's Preparedness' at the National Press Club in the capital on Sunday.
Centre for Non-Resident Bangladeshis (NRB), a research organisation, arranged the programme.
Mohammad Nur Khan, Director of Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), Prof Dr Tasneem Siddiqui, Chair of the Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU), Eng M Shahjahan Khadem, Past Council Chairperson of the Lions' Clubs International and MS Shekil Chowdhury, Chairperson of the Centre for NBR, among others, spoke.
Muhammad Jahangir, Proprietor of the Promotions, moderated the session.
Nur said the traffickers term the travellers as 'sack' and 'buffalo' during trafficking by boats.
The police and members of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) realise tolls illegally from the traffickers, he alleged and added that the police often ignore those who complain about the cases of trafficking.
"Although many cases were lodged over the last few years, most of them remained ignored and not investigated," Nur noted.
"Local people's representatives are also involved in the abducting of the victims. The ministries of Home and Foreign Affairs are found indifferent in checking the crimes," he said.
Tasneem Siddiqui says Bangladesh Embassies aboard label the trafficked people as Rohingyas to avert their responsibilities.
"Many concerned government officers said that they were not concerned whether the victims go abroad through legal or illegal routes. The remittance they send back that matters most," she said.
"Thai and Malaysian governments suspended many army and police officers for their involvement in trafficking but the government of our country did not do so," she also said.
"The government is busy with image crisis, instead of rescuing the trafficked victims," Tasneem went on saying.
Terming failure of the government to recruit manpower abroad, Shahjahan Khadem said that about 14 lakh people registered to go to Malaysia but the government could send only 8,000.
He urged the government to create much more opportunity at home and aboard to stop the trafficking.
A move should be initiated to enact a new international law to take action against the accused as the crimes are committed not only in our country but also abroad, he said.
If any country recruits any Bangladeshi going through illegal channel, the government should ask that country why it has employed him or her without legal documents, he observed.
 Shekil Chowdhury said the government should bring back those abducted or trafficked to various countries no matter whether they are Bangladeshis or Rohingyas.
The government should provide assistance to the unemployed youths to discourage them from choosing illegal way, he added.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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