Law Minister Anisul Huq yesterday underscored the need for cooperation, and proper legal, social and economic strategies to combat human trafficking
"We feel cooperation is fundamental to combating the exploitation of women, children and men by human traffickers. But, cooperation is only the start! We need legal, social and economic anti-trafficking strategies," the law minister said while speaking at a webinar on "Bangladesh E-Judicial Colloquium to prevent and address Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants".
The minister said human trafficking is a rapidly evolving crime requiring a comprehensive and well-coordinated response.
"The country is implementing a National Plan of Action for Prevention and Suppression of Human Trafficking (2018-2022)," he said.
The law minister said the Covid-19 crisis and economic downturn are leaving more women, men and children at risk of being trafficked.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been at the forefront of global policy debate, articulating the idea for the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, he said.
Anisul Huq said Bangladesh, being the seventh largest recipient country of global remittances, has set a clear priority on protecting its migrants' rights and interests both at home and abroad.
"In this regard, Bangladesh passed the Prevention and Suppression of Human Trafficking Act, 2012 and its Rules 2017, acceded to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) in July 2011, and in September 2019, acceded to the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the UNTOC. Bangladesh has also ratified ILO core conventions on forced labour," the law minister said.
He also said the government would like to step up action to prevent exploitation in the Covid-19 crisis, to identify and support trafficking victims, and bring perpetrators to justice.
Law Secretary Md Golam Sarwar and representatives from United Nations Office on Drug and Crimes (UNODC) and European Union attended and spoke at the function.