Government and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) need to work in an organised manner to combat human trafficking and prosecute traffickers, speakers said at a roundtable discussion in Chittagong yesterday.
To avert human trafficking, they urged government to reinforce safe migration acts and impose huge fines on the criminals.
They were addressing a discussion styled “Human Trafficking: Threat, Prevention and Survivor Protection” held at a local hotel in the city and jointly organised by Youth Power in Social Action (YPSA), and WINROCK International.
On the Human Trafficking (prevention and protection) Act-2012, they said the newly adopted law is still unknown to many, even law enforcers, especially higher officials, are not aware of it.
They said the law needs to be implemented and to do so inter-ministerial collaboration is required.
The traffickers mainly target children and pregnant women especially those in rural areas, they said.
They said although poverty is on decline the rate of human trafficking is on the rise indicating that poverty is not the only cause of the crime.
Research based studies should be carried out on this issue and a database of the criminals and victims should be kept, they said adding that the victims should be rehabilitate.
Dr Ridwanul Haque, associate professor of Law Department of Dhaka University, presented the keynote paper while Ranjit Kumar Biswas, secretary to the Ministry of Social Welfare, Sisir Dutta, executive director of Bangladesh Institute of Theatre Arts, spoke among others at the roundtable discussion funded by United States Agency for International Development.