BD signs up to UN treaty to combat human trafficking
NEW YORK, Sept 4: Bangladesh's decision to adopt an international treaty that binds countries to strict anti-trafficking measures could help it avoid US sanctions, a UN official said on Wednesday.
Bangladesh has been on a US State Department watchlist for the past three years over its record on human trafficking, putting it at risk of a downgrade that would trigger sanctions, limiting access to international aid.
On Sunday, the government announced it would adopt the United Nations' Palermo Protocol on trafficking, which provides an international definition and guidelines on how countries should tackle the crime.
George McLeod, spokesman for the UN migration agency, said ratifying the treaty would improve Bangladesh's chances of avoiding a damaging downgrade "because its protocols factor prominently in the United States' decision on this".
"From a counter-trafficking perspective, Bangladesh is on the same page as other signatories," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. The State Department said in its latest Trafficking in Persons report in June that Bangladesh did not fully meet its minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, but was making significant efforts to do so.
It criticised the government for its failure to investigate several potential crimes of forced labour and sex trafficking against Rohingya refugees in the country.
-Thomson Reuters Foundation