US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R Miller today reaffirmed his country's commitment to working with Bangladesh in combating human trafficking.
"The United States reconfirms its commitment to partnering with all of you to fight human trafficking," he told a webinar marking the World Day against Trafficking in Persons.
Bangladesh United Nations Network on Migration (BDUNNM) organised the webinar which was also addressed by government officials, members of civil society organisations working on migration, and officials and representatives of UN agencies.
"Human trafficking or modern slavery has no place in our world anywhere, anymore," added the US ambassador.
Addressing the event as the key guest speaker, the US envoy said human trafficking is a "difficult and complex" issue and that trafficking networks are "sophisticated, far reaching and dangerous".
Stressing the need for keeping up the fight against traffickers, he said it was one of the US embassy's top priorities.
Instability and lack of access to critical services caused by the Covid-19 pandemic mean the number of people vulnerable to exploitation by traffickers is rapidly growing, he added.
Terming human trafficking as a global threat necessitating global response, the US envoy said his sense of urgency is magnified by the implications of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Earl R Miller said the fight against the crime requires joint collaboration from government, civil society activists and international organisations.
It must involve training of law enforcement officials, bringing trafficking in persons (TIP) cases to court, building strong community networks, protecting survivors, and enhancing cooperation between countries to investigate trafficking networks, he added.
The US envoy said Bangladesh's establishing of seven anti-human trafficking tribunals is a "huge step forward" to fight the crime.
On Bangladesh's upgrade from "Tier 2 Watch List" to "Tier 2" in the US State Department's TIP Report 2020, he congratulated all those who fought tirelessly to pursue accountability for traffickers and freedom for the victims.
However, he said the struggle continues, calling upon Bangladesh government to fulfil recommendations made in the TIP report.
The ambassador mentioned four specific recommendations for immediate government actions.
To this end, he mentioned that he and his colleague Ambassador-at-Large John Richmond wrote an op-ed published in The Daily Star on June 26, emphasising the four recommendations.
In the TIP report, there are other recommendations but these are the kind of "big four", he added.
The US envoy also lauded Bangladesh's effort to fulfil the objectives of the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, known as the "Palermo Protocol".