POST TIME: 14 June, 2021 11:56:00 PM
Trafficking of women and children: Initiatives needed for prevention
Trafficking is an organized crime and more than one person is involved in this type of crime and they commit the crime by applying various techniques, they try to get out through the loopholes of the law and most of the time they become successful.
Majhar Mannan

Trafficking of women and children: Initiatives needed for prevention

The number of women and child trafficking in the country is on the rise and if it is not brought under control, many helpless women in Bangladesh will soon face more dire consequences. Trafficking in women and children is a form of violence that is a mockery of human civilization and a reflection of the barbaric era. It is the moral responsibility of all citizens to stand up against this violence. The causes of trafficking in women can vary from geographical position, but whatever it is, it must be remedied and prevented at the same time.

The main causes of trafficking in women and children are economic, socio-cultural, erosion of values, weakness of applying laws, poverty and lack of education. Poor women and children in Bangladesh fall into the hands of traffickers due to a little greed. In many cases, women are trafficked by kidnapping, acting out of love and even through false marriages. The poor, uneducated and helpless women of the village migrate from the villages to the cities for employment and are mainly targeted by the traffickers. Also, unmarried women, divorced women and widows are victims of trafficking. In the temptation of a happy and prosperous life, these helpless and uneducated poor women fall into the trap of traffickers.

Trafficking is an organized crime and more than one person is involved in this type of crime and they commit the crime by applying various techniques, they try to get out through the loopholes of the law and most of the time they become successful. All of these organized criminals commit a variety of misdeeds, such as drug dealing, brothels, illicit profiteering, and various types of social misconduct. Human trafficking is happening all over the world because human trafficking is more profitable and less risky than drug or weapon trafficking. Traffickers often marry girls from poor families without dowry and then sell and traffick them, and after being trafficked, those women are housed in various types of brothels, especially in India.

The lives of trafficked women become miserable and frightening because they are basically forced into sex slaves and are employed in various risky jobs. According to various human rights organizations, 200 to 300 young women and children are being trafficked from Bangladesh to other countries of the world including India every month. According to the Social Welfare Board of India, there are a total of five lakh foreign sex workers in India, of which 1 per cent are Bangladeshis and 2.7 per cent in Kolkata. The Government of Bangladesh has taken a firm stand against trafficking in women and children and has formed various inter-ministerial committees and set up a monitoring cell at the police headquarters.

Special searches have also been carried out at the borders and airports and a committee has been formed under the leadership of the Deputy Commissioner and special arrangements have been made to rehabilitate the rescued women and children. Despite various measures taken by the government, trafficking is not going to be stopped completely because the public's ignorance is the main reason.  If the people are aware, it will be possible to control such trafficking to a large extent.

Traffickers are highly organized and have secret relationships with various types of dishonest and corrupt officials and they give the traffickers a variety of opportunities. The number of trafficked women in India is increasing day by day and in recent times a video has gone viral which shows the extent to which trafficked women are subjected to cruelty and torture. These trafficking groups target areas of the country where poverty rates are high, education rates are low, communication systems are undeveloped, people are unaware and weak monitoring of administrations.

Poor families that do not have enough men to make a living and families that depend on women are targeted by traffickers. After being trafficked, these unfortunate women are sold into various types of brothels and they are forced to act in various pornographic films and to take drugs. They are kept as concubines and sex slaves and at the same time they are subjected to various kinds of risky activities and subjected to constant torture. Poverty, unawareness, inequality, invaluation of girls, lack of education, high ambition, polygamy and negligence of parents are seen as the reasons behind trafficking.

Trafficking in women in the name of immigration is now rampant and Rohingya women and children are being trafficked. Many of the traffickers have already been arrested but the whole cycle has not yet to be eradicated. In recent times, women are being lured into various traps through online and women are unknowingly stepping on that path and being trafficked. Traffickers create a variety of online groups and engage young women in those groups and offer them to be models and the women respond. Recently a video went viral and based on that the police arrested Tiktuk Hriday.

It is unfortunate that the criminal activities of these trafficking gangs inside the country are not known in advance but it is known when a woman is trafficked and subjected to extreme torture and cruelty on foreign soil. However, women are trafficked for the purpose of prostitution and all the unfortunate girls unknowingly fall into their trap and bring about their ultimate doom.

Traffickers target dancers who perform in a variety of small events and who have ambitions to grow up. Girl street children are also one of the targets of these traffickers and these children are trafficked when they get matured. However, the exact number of women trafficked from Bangladesh and the number of women who have been subjected to horrific torture is not known to anyone at the moment, but it must be stopped now otherwise the situation may deteriorate further.

However, this trafficking cannot be stopped alone because it is not possible to stop a complex issue such as law enforcement alone, which requires public awareness and a concerted effort. The media needs to play a very effective and vital role in preventing trafficking in women and children. A mosque-based campaign should be launched to prevent the trafficking of women and children, and an imam-led campaign should be launched in the mosque every Friday after the Friday prayers. These issues need to be included more in the primary education system and given importance in the curriculum to raise awareness. Different types of NGOs and social workers can play an important role in this and at the same time all educated people should come forward to make awareness.

Those involved in trafficking in women and children must be arrested immediately and brought to justice with severe exemplary punishment. Bangladesh's laws against trafficking in women and children must be strictly enforced and at the same time, vigilance must be exercised to ensure that traffickers are not released in any way. A survey can be conducted of women and children who are at risk of trafficking and according to that survey they can be monitored and made aware and supported in various ways.

The writer is Assistant Professor, B A F Shaheen College, Kurmitola, Dhaka Cantonment.