This is the fifth consecutive year that the US authorities are saying that “Bangladesh does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, but it is making significant efforts to do so”.
The report released on Thursday is the US government’s principal diplomatic tool to engage foreign governments on human trafficking.
The report, which enjoys the Congress’ mandate, looks at what the governments are doing to combat human trafficking (modern day slavery) through the lens of what the US describes as the 3P paradigm — “prevention, protection, and prosecution”.
It ranks countries in its four-tier ranking system.
According to the report, Bangladesh is primarily a source and, to a lesser extent, a transit and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking.
It also notes that Bangladesh is host to an estimated 32,000 registered Rohingya refugees and up to 500,000 undocumented Rohingya, whose “stateless status increases their vulnerability to human trafficking.”
Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants who travel by boat to Southeast Asian countries are subject to starvation, assault, abduction, and ransom demands-some migrants who are not able to pay ransom are sold into forced labour, primarily on fishing boats.
Women and girls who migrate for domestic work are particularly vulnerable to abuse, the report observes.
Some women who migrate through Bangladeshi recruitment agencies to Lebanon or Jordan for domestic work are subsequently sold and transported to Syria and subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking, according to it.
Some women and children are subjected to sex trafficking and forced labour in India and Pakistan.
The report says, for the third consecutive year, the Bangladesh government continued to prepare but did not finalise the implementing rules for the 2012 Prevention and Suppression of Human Trafficking Act (PSHTA).
This delay, it says, is “impeding the identification, rescue, and rehabilitation of trafficking victims”.
Source: Bangladesh’s First Internet Newspaper