Women trafficked as sex slaves
We are deeply troubled by the allegations that women from Bangladesh are being trafficked to war-ridden Syria as sex slaves and domestic workers. According to a report in a leading Bengali daily, Rab has expressed concerns regarding the issue to the government, citing at least 43 cases of women being trafficked to Syria. Three victims, upon being sent back to Bangladesh once they fell grievously ill, told the newspaper that hundreds of women from Bangladesh are being used as sex workers in different cities of Syria, after being tricked into believing that they would get jobs as domestic workers in Lebanon. The victims claim that there is an organised transnational network trafficking women, of different ages andappearances, from Bangladesh and selling them for approximately Tk 3 lakh.
We are at a loss to understand how these women ended up in Syria when they were supposed to go to Lebanon. Did they have the necessary documents to go to Syria, and if not, how could they pass the immigration?
Trafficking of women and girls is a serious crime, and one which the government must take a zero tolerance policy on. The foreign and home ministries must work together to rescue the women who are already there, and take urgent steps to identify and bring to book the networks and agencies involved in this, particularly those that have already been named by victims and their