Taimur Alam Khandaker :
That Bangladesh is a thickly populated land where near about 20 crore people are inhabitant out of them most of the people depend on agriculture, worker of industry and day laborer. A hand some percentage of the total human strength have not any land and shelter. Out of famine discrimination the Women of Bangladesh are in discomfortable position. Out of poverty and on the other hand out of trap by the transnational smuggler with a hope to give job opportunity in the Middle East counties with an understanding to earn petrodollar, the sex trafficking are going on from Bangladesh and it has a large market with in the country also.
Definitions and Prevalence Human Trafficking:
" Human trafficking" or "trafficking in persons" and "modern slavery" are terms often used interchangeably to refer to a variety of crimes associated with the economic exploitation of people. Human trafficking has been associated with transnational organized crime groups, small, more loosely organized criminal networks and local gangs, violations of labor and immigration laws, and government corruption.
T rafficking in persons shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power, or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.
The definition comprises three essential parts: recruitment, movement, and exploitation, all of which point to critical aspects of the trafficking process. It is important to note that it is not necessary for "movement" to include crossing from one country into another; an individual can be trafficked within the borders of her or his own country or town and can even be trafficked from the home in which she or he lives, in which case movement is not even relevant. As an example of an in-country situation, it is not uncommon for a girl or woman to be trafficked from the rural areas of Bangladesh to the coastal regions where the commercial sex industry is thriving.
Also critical to understanding human trafficking is understanding what is meant by coercion. The term "coercion" in this context specifically refers to (a) Threats of harm to or physical restraint against any person; (b) Any scheme intended to cause a person to believe that failure to perform an act will result in harm or physical restraint against any person; or (c) The abuse or threatened abuse of the legal process. However, it is essential to take other factors into consideration with regard to coercion, in particular when working with victims of sex trafficking and prostitution, such as whether the individual had any legitimate alternatives to support her basic needs (Hernandez, 2001) when approached by the pimp (trafficker). If not, then the thinking is that desperation to perform responsibilities such as support a child, and feed and keep one's self safe, can be a form of coercion.
Forms of Human Trafficking:
Categorization of trafficking by the nature of the work (labor and sex trafficking) performed is a common although misleading practice. A woman may be trafficked primarily for domestic servitude; however it is likely that she will be forced to engage in sex acts as well. This speaks to the unique vulnerabilities of women and girls. While the type of labor performed by victims is varied (both with regard to labor and sex trafficking), some of the most common forms of human trafficking are noted below.
a. Bonded labor or debt bondage is a form of human trafficking that most closely parallels slavery, in which a person takes or is tricked into taking a loan. The person must then work to repay the loan; however, the nature of the work and the amount of time necessary to repay the loan are undefined and often remain that way. Individuals in debt bondage may receive food and shelter as "payment" for work, and in some cases victims will not be paid monetarily at all and their debt may increase to account for costs associated with food and shelter. A debt can be passed down for generations, which means that the child or grandchild of the person originally taking the loan is left to pay off the debt. It is important to note that not all instances of work-based debt are human trafficking, as someone may willingly enter into this type of arrangement and actually be fairly compensated for her or his labor.
b. Chattel slavery is characterized by ownership of one person by another and individuals in this form of slavery are bought and sold as commodities. It is the least common form of human trafficking today; however, it was the most prevalent in the United States until the 1865 passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
c. Early and forced marriage primarily affects girls and women who are married to men without any choice. They then live as servants to the men and often experience physical and/or sexual violence in the home environment.
d. Forced labor is characterized by an individual being forced to work against her or his will, without compensation, with restrictions on freedom, and under violence or its threat. This term is also sometimes used in reference to all forms of human trafficking.
e. Involuntary domestic servitude is a form of forced labor in which an individual performs work within a residence such as cooking, cleaning, childcare and other household tasks. This becomes trafficking when the employer uses force, fraud and/or coercion to maintain control over the individual and to cause the worker to believe that she or he has no other options but to continue in the position. This type of environment puts the individual at increased risk because she or he is isolated and authorities are not able to easily gain access to inspect the workplace.
f. Sex trafficking is an extremely traumatic form of human trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion; or a sex act in which the person induced to perform is under 18 years of age. Victims of sex trafficking can be girls, boys, women, or men-although the majority are girls and women. It is not uncommon for traffickers to employ debt bondage as an attempt to legitimize their confiscation of the victim's earnings. Sex traffickers use a variety of methods to control and "break-in" victims, including confinement, physical abuse, rape, threats of violence to the victim's family, forced drug use and more. Victims of this form of trafficking face numerous psychological and physical health risks.
g. Slavery by descent occurs when individuals are born into a socially constructed class or ethnic group that is relegated to slave status.
h. Child trafficking involves displacing a child for the purpose of economic exploitation. In the case of children, force, fraud and coercion do not need to be demonstrated. It is estimated that 1.2 million children are trafficked each year (ILO, 2002). Like adults, children are trafficked for the purpose of labor and sexual exploitation.
j. Worst forms of child labor are a term that refers to child work that is seen as harmful to the physical and psychological health and welfare of the child. The International Labour Conference in 1999 adopted Convention No. 182 concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour. The sale and trafficking of children is noted in this convention as one of the "unconditional" worst forms of child labor. Other unconditional worst forms noted in the Convention include "the use, procuring or offering of a child for prostitution, for the production of pornography or for pornographic performances" and "the use, procuring or offering of a child for illicit activities."
k. Child soldiering is a form of human trafficking that involves the use of children as combatants; it may also involve children forced into labor or sexual exploitation by armed forces. In this case, traffickers may be government military forces, paramilitary organizations, or rebel groups. In addition to being used directly in armed conflict, children may be used for sexual purposes or forced to work as servants, cooks, guards, messengers, or spies.
Legal aspect to control the Human Trafficking:
(A) Constitutional Protection against Prostitution:
Under article 18(2) of the Constitution of the Peoples Republic of Bangladesh it is provided that "The State shall adopt effective measures to prevent prostitution and gambling."
(B) Measure taken by the United Nation Organization:
The United Nation Organization has taken the following measure to protect and control the smuggling including the Women and Children Trafficking.
The United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, adopted by UNGA Resolution 55/25, is the primary legal instrument used to combat transnational organized crime. The Convention is supplemented by 2(Two) Protocols, each of which focuses on specific types of organized crime and are as follows:
a. The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, specially Women and Children;
b. The Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air; and
(C) Measure taken by the Government of Bangladesh to Control & Protect the Sex Trafficking:
The Government of Peoples Republic of Bangladesh to protect and prevent the smuggling Women and Child enacted the law under the title "The Anti-Women and Children oppression Act' 2000." In the said Law (Act) against the section 5 it is provided that:
"(1) If any person imports or exports or buys or sells or lets to hire or disposes of or hires or otherwise obtains possession or custody of any woman with intent that such woman shall be employed or used for the purpose of prostitution or illegal or immoral purposes, or for torturing her in any other manner he shall be punishable with death or imprisonment for life or rigorous imprisonment for a term not exceeding twenty years but not less than ten years and shall also be liable to fine.
(2) If any person sells or lets for hire or otherwise disposes of any woman to a prostitute or a person keeping or managing a brothel he shall until the contrary is proved, be presumed to have sold or disposed of such woman for the purpose of employing or using as postitute and he shall be liable to be punished as mentioned in sub-section (1).
(3) If any person keeping or managing a brothel buys or hires or otherwise obtains possession or custody of a woman he shall until the contrary is proved, be presumed to have bought or hired or kept in possession or custody such woman for the purpose of using her as prostitute and he shall be liable to the punishment as mentioned in sub-section (1)."
Against section 6 of the said law it is stated that:
"(1) If any person imports or exports, buys or sells or otherwise obtains possession or custody of any child for illegal or immoral purposes, he shall be punishable with death or imprisonment for life and shall also be liable to fine.
(2) If any person steals any new-born baby from hospital or maternity or nursing home or clinic etc or from the custody of his/her guardian, he shall be liable to punishment as described in sub-section (1) [Ref: Nari-O-Shishue Nirjatan Daman Ain' 2000 (VIII of 2000)]."
Sex Trafficking to Saudi Arabia:
Saudi Arabia is a rich country officially and by way of smuggling the women from Bangladesh are going to Saudi Arabia including Patro Dollor country for good earnings to maintain their family members. Report collated from various agencies and publication is reproduced in below:-
(I) Human trafficking in Saudi Arabia has a major role internationally, women from Asian and African countries are trafficked here as well. Men and women for both forced labor and prostitution purposes, even girls as young as seven years old are trafficked into Saudi Arabia for the same purpose. Though the government is doing everything within its power to eliminate human trafficking in Saudi Arabia, then take an international approach. Will human trafficking ever go away or will this be a temporary change in Saudi Arabia and internationally? Can we really eliminate human trafficking for good and if they cannot control their own country, how could they control someone else's?
(II) As per report of the U.S state department it appears that Saudi Arabia is a well-known destination country for men women and children to be trafficked for the purpose of involuntary servitude and to a lesser extent, commercial sexual exploitation. This is an ongoing problem within the Syrians control; they have a handful of human traffickers in Saudi Arabia and from other countries through the government, have a lot of executions, prosecutions, and convictions that need to be done. The government has started to take the proper measures to decrease the human trafficking activity they've done so by creating an anti-trafficking law that will prevent these women, children, and men from being trafficked in Saudi Arabia.
(III) According to Sarah Zimmerman of Washing University Global Studies of Law, it appears that forced labor in Saudi Arabia typically involves women and children being sold into servitude by the means of violence and deprivation. The international community recognizes the trafficking of women and children as a modern form of slavery, mainly from Asian states, are tricked into coming to the Middle East, where they find themselves in a forced labor situation or working for very low wages. The traffickers trap their victims by coercion, force or fraud. The forced labor migrant workers are especially prevalent in the oil-rich Persian Gulf states such as Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. That's workers who are frequently held to pay off the debt they have accumulated from the cost of housing and travel. Within 20 years, there have been 200,000 persons of Asian countries to be trafficked into Saudi Arabia, making this a major international problem.
(IV) Back in 2009, the Saudi Arabia government created their anti-trafficking law, in hopes of decreasing the activity of the increased demand of human trafficking, the government has been making tremendous efforts to so with their anti-trafficking law and creating harsh punishments such as 15 years of imprisonment and financial penalties of up to one million Saudi Arabia riyal (SAR) ($266,670), which may increase under certain circumstances, including trafficking committed by an organized criminal group or against a women, child or person with disabilities. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes such as rape. During the reporting period, the government reported investigations and public prosecutions 264 human trafficking cases back in 2016, which involved forced labor, practices similar to slavery, sexual exploitation and forced begging.
(V) Of these convicted 254 defendants under the anti-trafficking law, compared to 243 prosecutions and convictions in the previous reporting period, says The UN Refugee Agency. The number of traffickers has decreased compared to when the anti-trafficking law wasn't created, the government continue to make efforts by more prosecutions, convictions and deportations of traffickers. According to Saad Al-Saad from the Arab News, he states that the Saudi Arabia government has reaffirmed its strong rejection of human trafficking and promised to double efforts to eliminate in the international community as well, by ratifying international convections of human trafficking. Countries around the world and international organizations are specializing in human trafficking, they have sought to develop mechanisms and issue laws to deter the crime and reduce its economic, physiological and economic efforts. The committee also promotes awareness and takes social and economic initiatives to prevent human trafficking, in coordination with all concerned authorities. Al-Sadd also mentions that due to an increase in the number and intensity of conflicts, especially in the Middle East, there have been noticeable higher incidents of human trafficking, especially among displaced Syrians. It's very unfortunate that criminals exploited the vulnerability and needs of refugees and their dire humanitarian situation for personal gain.
Threat to Civilized Society and Humanity:
(I) Politician Luis Al berto Sanchez says that "The Crime of trafficking is exploitation of man by man, it's the Slavery of the 21st Century."
(II) Pope Frances told that "Human Trafficking is a Crime against humanity, we must unite our efforts to free victims and stop this crime that" become ever more aggressive, that threatens not just individuals but the fundamental values of society."
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Recommendation to stop Sex Trafficking:
(I) The State should give financial support to the helpless and needy women or provide them with the employment.
(II) That State should arrange well facilities for the proper education of women class.
(III) Political motivation and social consciousness is highly required to stop the Sex Trafficking in Bangladesh.
Reference obtained from:
(I) The constitution of the Peoples Republic of Bangladesh.
(II) The Resolution of U.N.O.
(III) Nari-O-Shishu Nirjatan Daman Ain, 2000 as amended 2003.
(IV) Report of U.S. State Department.
(V) Global Studies of Law by Sarah Zimmerman of Washing University.
(VI) Report of U.N. Refugee Agency.
(VII) Statule of Saudi Arabia to protect the Sex Trafficking.
(VIII) Report prepared by AL JAZEERA.
(IX) Report published in The Nayadiganta.
(The writer is a columnist and Advocate (Appellate Division). E-mail: email@example.com)