Bangladesh United Nations Network on Migration (BDUNNM) and members of the Counter-Trafficking in Persons Technical Working Group (CTIP TWG) yesterday urged the government, civil society actors, and private sector partners to collectively support a rights-based approach to combat human trafficking.
About 40 million people globally are victims of trafficking. Over 70 percent of these people are women and girls, many of whom are trapped in sexual exploitation, the platforms said in a statement issued on the occasion of World Day against Trafficking in Persons.
In Bangladesh, a country of origin and destination for victims of trafficking, the UN estimates that thousands are trafficked every year. Recently published reports from ILO, Unicef and UNODC present evidence on how the Covid-19 pandemic may have a detrimental effect on the trafficking situation in general, reads the statement.
The activation of the newly established anti-trafficking tribunals is key to strengthen the capacity of and coordination among law enforcing agencies, border security actors, immigration authority, social welfare services and the judiciary, it said.
For better community engagement, the network calls for activation of counter-trafficking committees in collaboration with the NGOs and organisations supporting survivors of trafficking.
"In these exceptional times, we must commend the work of the first responders to human trafficking -- people who identify, support, provide counselling and seek justice for survivors of trafficking simultaneously challenging the impunity of the traffickers," said Mia Seppo, the UN resident coordinator in Bangladesh.
Abu Bakr Siddique, additional secretary to the home ministry, said the government will continue working to follow up on the National Plan of Action for Prevention and Suppression of Human Trafficking 2018-2022.