Human trafficking : 21 points in border areas vulnerable

Human trafficking : 21 points in border areas vulnerable

By Staff Reporter

Sun, 23 Jul 2006, 10:57:00

Human trafficking is the third most profitable business after drugs and gunrunning in the South Asian region and twenty-one points in the border have been identified as vulnerable areas in Bangladesh.The government should open up dialogue on trafficking issue in Parliament to curb this scourge in the country.This was said at a press briefing on ‘Lobby Document for Effective Implementation of the SAARC Convention on Trafficking’ at the Seminar Room of Centre for Women Studies (CWCS) in the city yesterday.

The CWCS organised the briefing to disclose some recommendations from the national consultations in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka, which were presented at the International Conference of the SAARC Convention on Trafficking held at Katmandu in Nepal on July 5 and 6. Prof Ishrat Shamim, President and Prof Latifa Akanda, Adviser of the CWCS, media persons, among others, were present at the briefing.Prof Shamim said that representatives from the SAARC countries recommended widening of the scope of SAARC Convention to exceed beyond prostitution to include many types of exploitations, including forced and indentured labour, camel jockeys and organ transplantation.

They also recommended inclusion of at least two members from civil society groups and activist, who are working on the issue of trafficking, to be nominated by each country in the SAARC Task Force, for monitoring the implementation of the SAARC convention by the member countries.There should be a separate department of the government in each SAARC member country to work on trafficking in persons as one of the emerging critical areas and not an annexure to different ministers such as Home, Law, Department of Women and Child Affairs, they added.They also recommended developing a cross border mechanism for repatriation of trafficked victims in line with the Bangladesh model agreement and inter-regional and intra-regional cooperation between governments to strengthen NGO networking in the borders.Representatives further demanded coordination between the SAARC Secretariat, line ministers of the national governments and civil society.

The South Asia Network Against Trafficking (SANAT) had formulated the lobby document after national consultations in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka, which had created a lobbying group at the regional level and the network comprises of key stakeholders and opinion makers, who were engaged in continuous advocacy activities for the effective implementation of the SAARC Convention in their respective countries.

© Copyright 2003 by The New Nation

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