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POST TIME: 21 April, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Human trafficking
495 foreigners in Bangladesh jail
Says home minister
Staff Reporter, Dhaka

495 foreigners in 
Bangladesh jail

A total of 495 foreigners, victims of human trafficking, are currently in prisons of Bangladesh, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said yesterday (Saturday). “Of them, 57 have been convicted and 86 are free, but no country is ready to take them back,” said the minister while speaking at a conference, "Combating Trafficking and Repatriation of Victims of Trafficking", organised by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) at a Dhaka hotel.

“The main reason for human trafficking is demand and supply. In Bangladesh human trafficking has decreased. Eighty per cent of those still trafficked are Rohingyas,” said the minister.

He said police surveillance has been increased in every district to prevent human trafficking. A committee has been formed in every district under the supervision of the Ministry of Home Affairs,.

Speaking at the programme, Kazi Reazul Hoque, chairman of the NHRC said in 2012 the human trafficking prevention and suppression law was promulgated. It calls for constituting a separate tribunal for trying such cases. But owing to several reasons, it has not been possible to create such a tribunal even in seven years.

The task of creating the law was with the Home Ministry. The Home Minister should take the initiative to set up the tribunal to settle cases under the law. Time has come to form a separate tribunal for disposal of human trafficking cases, the NHRC chairman said.

 Kazi Reazul Hoque gave the example of Badal Farazi, 29, who was serving a life sentence in Delhi’s Tihar Jail after being convicted in a murder case. He was brought back to the country on July 6 last year under a bilateral treaty on “Transfer of Sentenced Prisoners” signed with India eight years ago.

 After Badal was brought back, he was sent to Dhaka Central Jail to let him serve the rest of his sentence there.

 On the issue of Badal Farazi, the Home Minister said there is a complexity about the case. Now the only way is if the President declares him innocent, then he will be released. If the President pardons him, it will be possible to bring him back to normal life.

 According to data from the police headquarters, since 2013, a total 6,106 people have been arrested in connection with human trafficking in Bangladesh, but only 25 of them have been convicted. Due to the low conviction rate, Bangladesh remained on the Tier 2 watch list for the second consecutive year. The list has countries whose governments do not fully comply with the TVPA’s minimum standards, but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards, and the absolute number of victims of severe forms of trafficking is very significant or is significantly increasing; or there is a failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons from the previous year; or the determination that a country is making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with minimum standards was based on commitments by the country to take additional future steps over the next year.

 Giorgi Gigauri, chief of the Mission of International Organisation for Migration (IOM), said: “We have to find out the reason behind human trafficking. Everyone must stop human trafficking from Bangladesh and from the world.”

 Nahim Razzaq, MP, Manabendra Nath Mandal, National Coordinator and Secretery General, ATSEC India, also spoke on the occasion.