Swift disposal of human trafficking cases urgently needed28 January 2023
The conviction rate for the crime of human trafficking is so negligent that one can never hope to have meaningful reduction in this crime which is very rife. Quoting a UN report, yesterday's reports mentioned that in 2020, only one person was awarded punishment in a human trafficking case while the number nine in 2019 and four in 2018. With a lesser rate of conviction, this crime is not going to decrease in society. Far from it, incidents of human trafficking are increasing, with Dhaka Division having the highest (40 per cent) number of human trafficking cases filed in Khulna (22 per cent) and Chattogram (17 per cent).
All cases of human trafficking are evil and painful, but when the crime involves women and children, it is doubly reprehensible. Human trafficking is the worst form of modern-day slavery, it occurs most in a society that is afflicted with poverty and discrimination. People with economic needs are most vulnerable to human traffickers. Due to Covid-19 induced lockdowns, war, rampant corruption in society coupled with uneven distribution of wealth, a great number of people have again fallen back to their poverty trap, and unsurprisingly, human trafficking will be even more frequent from Bangladesh at this time. Hence is the necessity of swift judicial dealing with the traffickers.
Though trafficking cases should be closed within 180 working days, due to lack of resources and high levels of corruption in investigation, trafficking cases get protracted. To speed up the process of justice in human trafficking cases in Bangladesh, therefore, is not easy unless the law enforcers become active both in catching the traffickers as well as producing charge sheets after quick investigation of cases.
When Bangladesh's economy is going through a huge crisis with food becoming very pricey but work is hardly available for the unemployed, relevant authorities need to become extra cautious. The UN study has pointed out that, traffickers especially target victims affected by environmental disasters such as floods and droughts that erode livelihoods and heighten levels of vulnerability. People's expectation is the government would solve all of their problems including the livelihood ones. But an anti-people government that is busier to remain in power without proper voting cannot be expected to deliver people from their problems.