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Govt must disband transborder gangs and generate employment to stop human trafficking

11 November 2022

UN Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons Siobhán Mullally called for greater accountability, and stronger regulation of the recruiting agencies while expanding livelihood opportunities and extending protection to victims without discrimination. Child trafficking is a significant risk, which must be addressed through expanded child protection and increased efforts at birth registration.
At home, the government has taken various steps to promote safe migration and prevent human trafficking. Yet, the risks of human trafficking remain high. About 12 million Bangladeshis work abroad and the remittance they send plays a critical role in the country's economy. Besides, climate change causes the displacement of thousands of people, making women and children especially vulnerable to exploitation. Therefore, continued development of exit strategies to eliminate child labour, in particular in high-risk sectors like hospitality and tourism, domestic work, brick kilns, and agriculture, is essential.  
Improving livelihoods for families, and expanding access to education, and training opportunities for children will be important. Trafficking of women and girls for purposes of sexual exploitation within Bangladesh and cross-border, in particular to India, is a serious and urgent concern. Boys are also trafficked within Bangladesh, but receive limited assistance or protection from the state, and are often at risk of both sexual exploitation and exploitation in criminal activities.
False job offers, very high recruitment fees, and failure to protect migrant workers in all stages of migration allow trafficking to persist. Returned migrant workers with significant debt are at continued risk of exploitation and face reprisals and threats because of difficulties in repaying debts and securing new employment. While countries of destination have a responsibility to prevent trafficking and protect migrant workers, Bangladesh, as a country of origin, must also strengthen its action to prevent such recruitment practices and to remedy the gaps in protection.  
To stop trafficking, the government must disband the transborder gangs, arrest the ringleaders and generate enough employment.

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