Bangladesh still on tier 2 in human trafficking: US State Department
Shining BD Desk || Shining BD
Bangladesh remained on Tier-2 of United States human trafficking list this year, according to the Trafficking In Person (TIP), 2022 report.
The US State Department published the report on its website on Tuesday.
According to the report, Bangladesh remained in its previous spot due to several initiatives undertaken by the government especially considering the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The government demonstrated overall increasing efforts compared with the previous reporting period, considering the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on its anti-trafficking capacity; therefore Bangladesh remained on Tier 2,” the report read.
The efforts include increasing investigations, prosecutions, and convictions against human traffickers, including upholding the dismissal of a member of parliament involved in a labor trafficking case.
Moreover, seven Anti-Trafficking Tribunals resumed operations in August 2021, and the Rangpur and Rajshahi tribunals became the third and fourth courts to record trafficking convictions.
Moreover, the government also ratified the protocol to the International Labour Organisation’s forced labor convention as part of efforts against forced labor.
Minimum Standards In Key Areas Not Met
The reports said that in several key areas, the government is yet to meet the minimum standards.
“The government identified fewer potential trafficking victims compared with the previous reporting period and victim care remained insufficient,” the report said, adding that it continued to allow recruitment agencies to charge high recruitment fees to migrant workers and did not consistently address sub-agents conducting illegal recruitment operations, leaving workers vulnerable to trafficking.
Moreover, the government failed to uniformly employ standard operating procedures (SOPs) to identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, resulting in the penalization of some returning migrant workers and potential sex trafficking victims.
The government also pursued policy changes that would force potential labor trafficking victims to go through civil arbitration prior to initiating criminal investigations.
The report recommended proactively screening vulnerable groups, including children, migrants, for trafficking indicators beyond points of entry and identify victims among these populations.
Vigorous investigation, prosecution and conviction of traffickers with adequate sentences, including substantial imprisonment, and reducing court backlog for trafficking cases was also recommended.
It also recommended amending the anti-trafficking law to remove sentencing provisions that allow fines in lieu of imprisonment for sex trafficking crimes.