Combating women trafficking
Trafficking of women and girls has become one of the prime concerns in the world over the years exposing dreadful consequences in regard to violation against human rights. Girls and women are the worst victims due to worldwide human trafficking. It is reported that every year an estimated 800,000 women and children are trafficked across international borders and of those 80% are women and girls bearing the brunt of being forced prostitution.
It is certain that Bangladesh is prone to exposing more vulnerabilities to be one of the source countries as well as transit points for human trafficking. Every year thousands of people are trafficked out.
Though human trafficking has existed since the dawn of civilization, the mode and the way of trafficking changes from time to time, place to place and environment to environment. In these days the traffickers are more organized with their evil-designs using technology which helps them to establish a global syndicate to do the fastest growing criminal activities for their sake.
In many cases it seems not unsound to say women trafficking is a synonym of sex trafficking as 90 % girls and women fall prey to trafficking for sexual exploitation along with the rest used both for domestic and sex services though they are given hundred times guarantees by the fraudulent traffickers for decent jobs in the countries where they are trafficked.
According to different NGOs in Bangladesh girls and women are succumbed to trafficking as they are given promise of better life. Most of the victims fall prey to the traffickers in a bid to escape their poverty trap. Unequal economy, gender-based discrimination on social protection and lack of information among the public about trafficking are many of the causes.
Girls and women working in garments and other informal sectors along with husband-deserted women are easily trapped by the traffickers. Apart from this some other who are already exploited by the local traffickers, staying with forced prostitution in different parts of the country to meet their livelihoods. Early marriage and divorcing are also the causes. According to different studies the divorcing rate is moreescalating among the people with poor financial condition.
The traffickers think the Middle East and many Asian countries as their fertile ground in case of transporting the victims. We can know a few incidents of human trafficking but most of the incidents happening across the globe remain unheard.
In our country incidentally over the years victims have managed to flee from their deported countries and exposed horrific experiences of untold sufferings. A couple of years back some women victims came back from Saudi Arabia and exposed the tale of their sufferings but many more chapters are still out of our reach.
The question is pertinent to raise, is there any country in the world, with no concern about human trafficking? Certainly not, human rights organization across the globe along with countries of the world are always showing their worries. But why are they unable to stop such inhuman activities?
To prevent trafficking and punish the criminals, the government enacted the Prevention and Suppression of Human Trafficking Act in 2012. The rules of this act were also formulated later, in 2017. But how far it has been introduced is also a question now?
Recently we came across a news of sex trafficking published different dailies that the gangster Azam Khan along with other traffickers has sent over a thousand girls to Dubai from Bangladesh, tempting them with promises of lucrative wages in Dubai's dance clubs.
Some of the victims escaping themselves claimed that they were forced into prostitution in Dubai in the name of manpower export by the trafficking ring. If any girl objected to their activities, she would face horrible torture.
Kingpin Azam has made a strong syndicate in Dubai and Bangladesh. In Bangladesh his fellow associates used to target good-looking garment workers and domestic helps between 18-20 years of age. Besides they would contact some local dance instructors whowould helpthe traffickers to arrange those girls. They were trafficked to UAE as tourists and compelled them into prostitution.
Different news also report that Kingpin Azam now owns assets worth Tk300 crore in Dubai owing to his sex trafficking racket over a few years.
No doubt it's a million dollar question, how do the traffickers like Azam manage every station from Bangladesh to Dubai to operate their illegal human trade. Why do we have to need many years to trace them? Were their hands much bigger than those of our law enforcing agencies?
Not only Azam, we came to know a lot about MP Papul and his other associates went on unabatedly human trafficking violating human rights. Are they above the law? However, the law enforcing agencies have arrested many of the human traffickers.
Though the traffickers win billion dollars with these heinous crimes, it has made far reaching effects on the victims and their families. There are many who are unfortunate have little scopes to back to their countries and some who may come out of the cocoons of tortures and sex exploitations likely to suffer from long-lasting physical and psychological trauma, disease (HIV/AIDS), drug addiction, malnutrition and social ostracism.
From the last decade many NGOs and women's organizations have initiated interventions to provide rehabilitation and support services to the women victims of trafficking.
But the topmost priority should be to stop human trafficking and those associated with this have to be given exemplary punishment within the shortest period using a summary trial. The norm should be established that no criminal is beyond the law.More importantly it is time to strengthen the anti-trafficking network in the country.
The writer teaches at