Impunity encouraging human trafficking
The culture of impunity is creating space for the human traffickers to continue their operation, sending many to their deaths and putting thousands of lives at stake, rights activist Sultana Kamal said yesterday.
Addressing a rally as part of an 87km road march from Cox's Bazar to Teknaf, she said human trafficking had recently created a humanitarian crisis, bringing to the surface the great responsibility of the state to take strong remedial measures.
“Each of those involved in the heinous crime of human trafficking must come under law and strong punishment,” said the executive director of the Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) at a rally in Cox's Bazar town.
The Human Rights Defenders' Forum organised the rally in association with the ASK to end human trafficking.
A former caretaker government adviser, Sultana Kamal, said in a democratic society, the state's responsibility was to ensure security and dignity. “However, identified human traffickers are getting released even after arrest, using legal loopholes and restarting the crime. They are daring do it for the culture of impunity,” she said.
The rights activist said nobody had known about the fate of “thousands of people who have been buried in the Thai jungles” and their families.
She emphasised creation of adequate jobs for the country's youths and massive awareness building against human trafficking.
HRDF Cox's Bazar District Convener advocate Arup Barua, rights activists Mizanur Rahman Bahadur, Abdus Shukur, Didarul Alam, ASK Director Nur Khan Liton, Mohammad Harun Or Rashid of Bhalobashi Bangladesh, Sultan Uddin Ahmad of the Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies were present, among others.
Participants of the road march stopped at Marichya Adarsha High School, Koat Bazar Station in Ukhia, Ukhia Degree College and Maddhyam Hnila Nayabazar High School and addressed several thousand students and families of survivors.
According to the UN refugee agency UNHCR, 88,000 people from the coasts of Bangladesh and Myanmar took the sea journeys to Malaysia through Thailand and 300 of them died at sea since January 2014.
The regional crisis caught global attention after mass graves were discovered in the hilly jungles of Thailand and Malaysia this May.
Several thousand Rohingyas of Myanmar and Bangladeshis were rescued by Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Myanmar in May and early June.