The issue of trafficking of children has been a major concern, both in national and international contexts. The nature and extent of the problems and crimes associated with it are most sensitive and transnational making the issue complicated one. At the same time, efforts have been made to develop a consensus on a working definition of trafficking and on the characteristics of trafficking since the tern is some what amigos. Moreover, the crime is highly organized and constantly taking new forms. Children representatives in international fora and policy making institution have raised concern that trafficking needs to be understood not merely as an act of criminality but as out come of complex social and economic features of the development process. Being the citizen of South Asian country and almost surrounded by an open border with India, children of Bangladesh constantly have been victims of trafficking. Encouragingly, alarming increase of trafficking in children to India, Pakistan and the middle East countries for labour sex and other forms of exploitation including sale of organs has led the government of Bangladesh as well ad various non governmental organization to take anti trafficking measures, including enactment of deterrent laws for criminalizing trafficking in children in all its forms, prosecuting the trafficker including intermediaries, along with protection and support for rehabilitation and family rein reintegration of the victims, enhancement of community awareness etc. Along with these activities various types of training programs are being organized for activities, social workers and the members of the law enforcement agencies.
Increasing activities of transnational criminal organization and others that profit from trafficking in children led both the international and regional forums and conferences to urge the governments to take appropriate measures to address the roof factors, including external factors, that encourage trafficking in women and girls for prostitution and other forms of commercialized sex, forced marriage and forced labour. These measures are aimed at eliminating trafficking in women as well as strengthening existing legislation with a view to provide better protection of the rights children punishing perpetrators. Governments have also been invited to formulate manuals for training of personnel who receive and or hold temporary custody victims of gender based violence including trafficking, taking into account current research and data on traumatic stress and gender-sensitive counseling techniques, with a view to sensitizing them the special needs of victims. Also part of the solutions to trafficking lies in enforcement of the laws which require capacity building of the members of the law enforcement agencies.
Therefore training focusing the modus operandi of the crime of trafficking of children pattern of the victims their sufferings, how they were victimized the stakeholders of trafficking, routs and sites factors responsible for trafficking, initiatives takes by the government as well as the NGOs in this regard may considerably develop the skill, improve knowledge and attitude and over all effectiveness of the performance of the members of law enforce men agencies dealing with the incidents or cases of trafficking of children.
The overwhelming traffic of children across the borders of Bangladesh cannot be understood unless first viewed in the general context of Bangladesh society including its historic, economic, religious, political and legal components. To attempt to understand the complex nature of trafficking by only examining one or two of these contributing factors simplifies the issue beyond comprehension and leaves little or no possibility for change.
Although it is not within the scope of his report to provide a full and comprehensive discussion of these elements, the following background material however limited in detail is presented as an outline of the context in which to place the traffic of Bangladeshi children.
2.1 Historical And Geographic Background
After approximately two hundred years of British colonization, the Indian sub-continental was divided in 1947 into two new countries India and Pakistan separated from India along lines drawn by religion ,Muslim Pakistan was further divided into two distinct geographic reasons differing in terms of language, culture and background and separated by a vast tract of Indian territory .Families which hard previously lived within single country now, many instances , straddled the border and were split between India and Pakistan. In the years immediately flowing the division, more cross border families were formed when the majority of Hindu people living in Bangladesh left fore West Bengal in India. For the same reason, Muslim from India migrated to West and East Pakistan.
As well, the original 1947 division of the Indian sub-continent left numerous “enclaves” on both sides of the newly drawn border. These are small pockets of land identify as belonging to the nation other than which surrounds them According to government statistics, there are 51 Bangladesh enclaves in India and 111 Indian enclaves in Bangladesh.
Although the countries to which the enclaves identify claim territory over them, they rarely if ever provide any from of support to those residing in the areas. In particular and specific to the issue of trafficking, these are not patrolled or controlled by any law enforcement agents.
From the outset, East and West Pakistan struggled with seemingly insurmountable differences. For East Pakistan creating a new national identity was further complicated by the fact that is boundaries had been carved out of the larger and again, distinct cultural, linguistic and geography region known as Bengal. To this day, the border between West Bengal and Bangladesh divides many families, while others or split between Pakistan and Bangladesh.
In 1971, after struggling for 37 years to recover from the effects of colonization while also attempting to form a unified national identity, East and West Pakistan went to war.
After a short but brutal was Bangladesh who its liberation at great cost. Along with the chaos and devastation typically accompanying civil war, Bangladesh was further demoralized by a systematic campaign on the part of the Pakistan army through which many members of the Bangladesh elite, educated and artistic classes were massacred.
As well, once again families were divided. Along with those divided by national borders, more than 3,90,000 Pakistani National remains resident in 66 camps scattered through out 14 Bangladeshi district. These people who at the time of independence lived on Bangladeshi soil chose to identify as Pakistani nationals.
For 37 years they have struggled to gain repatriation in the country of their choice. To date (and by the following a 1973 agreement signed by the Bangladeshi Pakistani governments) less than 1,70,000 have managed to do so.
It is well known that family members who physically or psychologically straddle the various borders created in the region over the past 50 years frequently migrate across those borders. Traffic across the border to visit family, to work or to smuggle goods back and forth is known to be heavy. This facilitated by the fact that Bangladesh borders India along 4,222 kilometers of primarily flat, easily traversed land or shallow Padma / GanngesRiver. Most often border crossing are illegal without passports or visas. Border guards are sparse in many areas and on both sides widely rumored to be implicated in illegal border crossings through as well organized bride system.
Many organizations indicates that those trafficking children make use of the routes used by those crossing illegally to visit family, that often those crossing to smuggle good also traffic children and that the enclaves and camps standard individuals may being used as collection points for traffickers.
The term “trafficking in children” has been use fore more than a hundred years. First showing up at an international conference on the prevention of “trafficking in women” in Paris, 1985 since then it has become an increasing common term as a growing number of NGOs, GOs and other organizations world-wide grapple with the reality of trafficking.
Today, the term “trafficking in children” is used frequently, appearing in legislation and conventions to halt “trafficking” research documents, programming, service provision and activism to assist those trafficked and media reports on the phenomena on.
However, among all those making use of term, few define “Trafficking”. In many cases those writing documents related to “trafficking” assume un understanding of precisely what is meant by the term.
In order instances and when the term is defined definitions are ambiguous and often contradictory, very rarely are such definitions explicated.
In some instances recruiters and traffickers are and the same, and in other instances recruiters are in the employ of traffickers. As was already stated, it was also true that often recruiters operate without the intent to traffic and without the knowledge that those whom they pass recruited “clients” onto subsequently traffic the women and children recruited.
In connection, it must be remembered that when seeking “solutions” to the issue of trafficking the perspective and therefore needs of those being trafficked must b
driving force. Therefore, it is not so much those who simply recruit woman and children who should be persecuted (given the fact that many woman and children both need and desire the opportunity to migrate for work). But those who employ abusive recruitment practices, those who traffic and those who “purchase” women and children from traffickers and then subject those individual to forced labour and slavery like practices.
In general, though not universally traffickers are rarely directly involved in the initial stages of recruitment. The may direct recruiters to operate in a particular area known to be suffering economically and which is therefore, more likely to yield children to be trafficked and they may control in other ways the movements and operations of recruiters, but for those that work on a large or more organized scale, the rarely do the work of recruitment themselves.
In some cases traffickers are approached by those seeking assistance in crossing borders and finding employment. In cases there is a fine line between brokers and traffickers. However, perhaps the distinction is made clearer when outcomes are viewed brokers tend no to maintain contact with those who hire them while traffickers generally due, increasing the debt owed to them end and therefore, ensuring that those they traffic remain vulnerable and under their control.
In such case, it is often the women or the guardians of the child ultimately traffickers who approach the trafficker asking for assistance. This seems to be particularly true in situations where women are recruited and trafficked as domestic workers. In some cases it can be argued, that these women are not trafficked but, rather are subjected to abusive employment practices with or without the prior knowledge of the individual or trafficking them. However, given the exorbitant fees set for such transactions and interest rates applied, seems family clear that traffickers operate in such case with the goal insuring those who seek their service become bonded or captive through debt accumulation.
Those who are known to have trafficked substantial numbers of woman operate “behind the scenes” and maintain control of all aspects of trafficking scenario.
They arrange recruitment and transport, determine which routes should be taken and decide where the border will be crossed “in those instances not confined to internal
trafficking”. It would appear that traffickers who operate on this level are well connected with police, border guards, immigration and passport officials. They employ agents at all transit points who are usually working for bus companies, the railway, travel agencies etc. Who ensure that those being trafficked are directed or escorted to the appropriate order point, arrange for bus, train or air tickets, connect those being trafficked with the next escort or agent along their route etc.
In some instances, women who are being trafficked are used to simultaneously traffic children. It may that such method are employed to make the transport of large groups more efficient fewer escorts would have to be employed as some of the escorts are women being trafficked themselves. As well it is likely that such methods are employed as a measure of protection. Border crossings are the points at which the greatest degree of risk taken and the greatest likelihood of arrest occur and therefore in cases such as there it is women themselves who are arrested should the crossing fail to be a success. In all such instances, the women and children are not met on the other side and escorted to the next point on their journey.
Those arrested tend to be either working on a small scale (those not well connected and who do not operate on a scale that allows for the employing of agents in the field) or the agents in the employ of traffickers recruiters, escorts, brokers who transport woman across borders and as explained above women being trafficked and who have been forced to simultaneously traffic children.
It is the large scale traffickers, the one well connected and which operate from a distance that tends to make large profits. It would seem that for those working on this level, the amount of money which can be made through the “sale” of children of their wages and through loans and extortionist interest rates connected to the traffic of women is considerable, recruiters agents, brokers, those who escort and transport children on the other hand, makes relatively small amounts of money for their work.
Typically, brokers escorting people across the border illegally make about 500 taka per person, recruiters get paid about 500 taka per child handed over the to traffickers.
4.1 National Children Policy – 1994
Objectives of the children policy:
Following six main goals law been identified to guarantee the rights of the children and ensure various facilities and opportunities:
a) Birth and survival ensure child’s right to survival after birth with the provision of health, nutrition and physical security.
b) Education and psychological development ensure proper facilities for education for achieving appropriate moral, cultural and social values.
c) Family environment being one of the main preconditions for proper development of a child, steps to be taken to improve the family environment.
d) Assistance to children in difficult circumstances extends a special assistance to children in difficult circumstances, provide necessary facilities for disabled children and establish equal opportunities for them.
e) Best interest of the children adopts the policy of ensuring the best interest of the children all national, social or personal situations.
f) Legal rights ensure the legal right of the children within the national, social of the family context.
4.2 Act For Children In Penal Code – 1860
Section 360: Whoever conveys any person beyond the limits of Bangladesh without the consent of that person or of some person legally authorized to consent on behalf of that person is said to kidnap that person from Bangladesh.
Section 361: Whoever takes or entices any minor under fourteen years of age if a male, or under sixteen years age of a female, or any person of unsound mind, out of the keeping of the lawful guardian of such minor or person of unsound mind, without the consent of such guardian, is said to kidnap such minor or person from lawful guardianship.
Section-363: Whoever kidnaps any person from Bangladesh or from lawful guardianship shall be punished with imprisonment of either description with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.
Section 364 A: Whoever kidnaps or abducts any person under the age of ten, in order that such person may be murdered or subjected to grievous hurt, or slavery or to the last of any person or may be so disposed of as to be put in danger of being murdered of subjected grievous hurt, or slavery, or to the last of any person shall be punished with death or which transportation for life or with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to fourteen years and shall not be less than save years.
Section-366: Whoever kidnaps or abducts any women with in text that she may be compelled or knowing it to be likely that she will be compelled or knowing to marry any person against her will or in order that she may be forced or seduced to illicit intercourse, or knowing if to be likely that she will be forced or seduced to illicit intercourse, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description. For a term which may extend to ten years and shall also be liable to fine and whoever by means of criminal intimidation as defined in this code or of abuse of authority or any other method of compulsion, induces any women to go from any place that intent that she may be or knowing that is likely that she will be forced or seduced to illicit intercourse with another person shall also be punishable as aforesaid.
Section-366 A: Whoever, by any means whatsoever, induces any minor girl under the age of eighteen years to go from any place or to do any act with intent that such girl may be, or knowing that is likely that she will be forced or seduced to illicit intercourse with another person shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to ten years and shall also be liable to fine.
Section-367: Whoever kidnaps or abducts any person in order that such person may be subjected, or may be so disposed of as to be put in danger of being subjected to grievous hunt or slavery or to the unnatural last of any person or knowing it to be likely that such person will be so subjected or disposed of, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years and shall also be liable to fine.
Section-371: Whoever habitually Imports Exports, remorse, buys, sell, traffic or deals in slaves shall be punished with transportation for life or with imprisonment of either description of a term not exceeding ten years and shall also be liable to fine.
Section-372: Whoever sells, lets to her or otherwise disposes of any [any person under the age of eighteen years with age be employed or used for the purpose of prostitution or illicit intercourse with any person or for any unlawful and immoral purpose, or knowing it to be likely that such person will at any age be] employed or used for any such purpose, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.
Section-374 (1): Whoever unlawfully compels any person to labour against the will of that person, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine or with both.
(2) Whoever compels a prisoner of war or a protected person to serve in the armed forces of Bangladesh shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year.
4.3 Extracts From International Human Rights Instruments Broadly Covered The Rights Of Women And The Children Focusing Trafficking
Universal Declaration of Human rights, 1948
Article-1: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Article-2: Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
Article-3: Everyone has the right to life liberty and security of person.
Article-5: No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Article-7 All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this declaration and against and incitement to such discrimination.
Article-8: Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by constitution or by law.
Article-16: Marriage shall be entered into only with free and full consent of the intending souses.
The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the state.
4.4 Convention For The Suppression Of The Traffic In Persons And Of The Exploitation Of The Prostitution Of Others, 1949
Article-1: The parties to the present convention agree to punish any person who, to gratify the passions of another
i) Procures, entices or leady away, for purpose of prostitution, another person, even with the consent of that person.
ii) Exploits the prostitution of another person, even with the consent of that person.
Article-2: The parties to the present convention further agree to punish any person who:
i) Keeps or manages, or knowingly finances or takes part in the financing of a brothel.
ii) Knowingly lets or rents a building or other place or any part there of for the purpose of the prostitution of others
Article-16: The parties to the present convention agree to take or to encourage the through their public and private educational, health, social, economic and related services, measures for the prevention of prostitution and for the rehabilitation and social adjustment of the victims of prostitution and of the offences referred to in the present convention.
Article-17: The parties to the present convention undertake, in connection with immigration and emigration, to adopt or maintain. Such measures as are required, in terms of their obligation under the present convent to check the traffic in persons of either sex for the purpose of prostitution.
Article-20: The parties to the present convention shall, it they have not already done so, take the necessary measures for the supervision of employment agencies in order to prevent person seeking employment, in particular children from being exposed to the danger of prostitution.
Article-27: Each party to the present convention undertakes to adopt, in accordance with its constitution, the legislative or other measures necessary to ensure the application of the convention.
5 Recruiters Of Trafficking
Recruitment is defined, for the purposes of this report, as any practice through which one individual obtains another individual to be transported to another location either within Bangladesh or outside the country. Recruitment practices can included those which are abusive and which involve violence threat of violence, abuse authority or dominant position, debt bondage, deception or other forms of coercion and those which are not abusive and do not include any of these factors. Not all those who recruited are subsequently trafficked, although, as explained earlier, those which are recruited through abusive practices do, most likely and up being trafficked either within Bangladesh or beyond its borer. It is also important to that is general brokers are not recruiters and therefore. It is in appropriate to define those that simply offer assistance those that simply offer assistance in crossing the border illegally as either recruiters or traffickers. These individuals are not recruiters, they neither approach those wishing to cross the border nor do they make promises of Jobs, marriage etc. In another area they simply provide a service. However as, discussed it is true that women who engage brokers to assist in either legal or illegal border crossing enter into situations were they are at increased risk of being trafficked. It is therefore appropriate to identify situations involving brokers as potential sites trafficking.
Given the fact that Recruiters do no always trafficked and that recruitment does always involve abusive practices, the range of those who full into the category of “recruiter” as vast. As already discussed, recruiters can be relatives, friends of the family village land owners who have moved to an urban centre, cousins working in a garment factory or a sister working as a domestic in Dubai. A recruiter may also be for example, the male friend of a neighbor who marries a young girl and eventually takes her to India. Recruiters may also be those who kidnap or abduct children.
In most cases however, evidence from research indicate that recruiters in Bangladesh generally promise either employment of marriage, and they rarely feed compelled to use kidnapping or abduction as a recruitments practice. In cases involving the promise of either employment of marriage, the recruiter might use force of abuse of dominant position but most often they don’t have to resort to these techniques given the fact that poverty compels most children the parents to readily accept such offers.
In the case of child recruitment, it seems that recruiters are frequently. In most instances of children recruited from rural areas, the recruited already some connection with those recruited, a relative, a fiends, a relative of a friend, a school teacher, a well known figure in the village etc. It is unusual for recruiters to be complete strangers to those they recruit from rural are as, however this may not be as true for those who recruit from urban centers. Researchers did find instances of girls or women already leaving or working in urban centre who were recruited by complete strangers, who in all such cases approached them and offered employment in a garment factory located in some other part of town.
In these instances, the recruiters were traffickers who sexually assaulted those they recruited. Confined them and eventually, trafficked them beyond the borders of Bangladesh.
However, in the case of recruiters operating in rural areas, it can also argue that these individuals develop a relationship with those the recruit prior to broaching the subject of employment marriage. In other words, that they orchestrate the situation in such a way that enables them to avoid making an offer of employment or marriage without seeming to have some connection to the individual they approach. This is clearly the manner in which those who work in a organized fashion operate.
These recruiters target families that are known to be struggling, tend to operate in districts or areas that are more impoverished than others and always develop a trust or familiarity prior to attempting recruitment.
In most instances, recruiters area seen as a boon to those in the villages or area in which in they operate given that they provide opportunities for those they recruit to move beyond the environment in which they are trapped. This attitude towards recruiters is reinforced by the fact that in most instances recruiters charge no immediate fee for the service they offer.
In the case of children recruited for employment overseas or in one of Bangladesh urban centers, parents or guardians are generally told that they will receive no remittance from the child for the first three months. This delay on return is treated as payment for the service of transporting the child, arranging employment and training.
5.1 Recruitment Practices Applied To Children
In the following subsections a number of factors related to “recruitment” will be discussed, along with “recruitment” methods typically employed in Bangladesh. In general “recruitment” involves any method by which one individual (the “recruiter”) obtain another individual to be transported to another location either within Bangladesh or outside the country.
A distinction is being made here between “recruitment” and trafficking because research indicates that in a sufficient number of causes to court, those who “recruit” children do not transport them across, borders or any great within Bangladesh. In other words, not all recruiters are traffickers. In some instances abusive recruitment practices are employed. But in others abuse is not a factor. It is likely that is most eases involving abusive recruitment practices, the recruited individual then is trafficked. However, it is also true that some recruitment practices that are not abusive also result in trafficking scenarios. In some instances recruiter simply handed over the children to a second party after collecting a fee (typically 500 to 1000 taka per child).
In other instances, recruiters hold the children in a particular location until sufficient numbers had been gathered to make transport of trafficking viable, act which time, again a second party will pay for the children and take control of them.
If may seen that making a distinction is such cases between “recruiters” and “traffickers” is like spotting hairs-that there is fine line dividing the two-and, to some extent, this is true. However, if law enforcement is focused only on those who recruit it is unlikely that the situation of child trafficking in Bangladesh will be effectively altered. The recruiters, in such instance, are not the “key players” and are therefore easily replaced by others often they themselves have been “recruits” to fill the particular role that they do and are, therefore, essentially hired by traffickers who are much more organized and who control where the children will be taken, when and over what route.
In some instances it may even be that “recruiters” are unaware of what ultimately happens to the children recruit. By focusing law enforcement measures only on these ‘front line” recruiters, the real organizers and controllers of the trafficking scenarios remain untouched and able to continue their activities.
5.2 Promises Of Employment
Before engaging in an analysis of recruitment practices involving the promise of employment, it should be noted that there is a distinct and important difference between “trafficking” and “abusive employment practices” or forced and slavery-like conditions. As well exploitation or exploitative employment practices are not the same as abusive employment practices or forced labour and slavery like practices. Therefore as noted below, some situations involving the promise of employment may not be trafficking but may involve forced labour and slavery-like practices or abusive employment practices.
BNWLA teams recorded cases in which children were trafficked following the promise of employment cases involving children. When including a proportionate number of those listed as “unknown” the adjusted number of children who were trafficked following the promise of job. The promises of employment was the primary form of recruitment for both children and women.
Typically, job offers included those for domestic work; work in Garment factories, gardening and in some instances involving young boys, the offer of a job as a camel jockey. As already stated, this method of “recruitment” follows negotiations with an adult who has assumed some kind of authority over the child and therefore, coercion does not usually involve violence or threat of violence.
In most “recruitment’ see anions it is an adult the recruiter approaches and engages in negotiations. The element of coercion in its various forms must be examined in given situations as it applies to the child’s guardian this may seen obvious, but is complicated by the fact that determining where to draw the line between who is being coerced and who implicit in the coercion is often difficult.
In the face of extreme poverty and given the fact that a large percentage of Bangladeshi parents are compelled to send their children to work, these details are often of no great consequence during the negotiations. In many cases, many children the “recruiter” and “trafficker” are often viewed by communities as service providers, a boon to parents unable to feed their children, providing the promise of employment and the possibility of greater earning power in another country while also providing the immediate benefit of a reduced household with one less child requiring care and food.
Shifting blame for the fact of child trafficking from “recruiters” to parents or guardians, however, is inappropriate. Neither this approach nor those which offer “solutions” based on an assumption of naiveté on the part of those who send their children away to work are likely to facilitate the elimination of child trafficking. As mentioned above, there is reason to believe that parents or guardians have at least a partial understanding of the risk the place children in by sending them to either a city in Bangladesh or another country work.
At this time given the current situation of the majority of Bangladeshi children as outlined under background, it is likely that neither traffickers nor recruiters feel need to employ kidnapping as a form of recruitment so long as negotiations with guardians are possible kidnapping carries considerable risk and a substantial penalty while recruiting children through job offers and marriage is relatively easy and low risk method.
This belief is supported by the fact that during field research, BNWLA encountered only 16 cases of children who had been kidnapped out of total of 106 cases involving children. When adjusted and when reports from the media during the same time period are included, this number rise 59 cases involving child kidnapping out of total 187 cases. What is of particular significance is that all cases involving kidnapping were identified as such after the children had either been rescued or had returned home following an escape non were identified as kidnapped and still missing.
The fact that only 11 of these children are known to have been returned to their home implies that the majority of them case from situations in which they were not “attached” to or under the guardianship of an adult this supports the speculation that “floating” or homeless children, and those residing in orphanages or government shelter homes are at increased risk of being recruited for trafficking through kidnapping. These are children who are on likely to appear as missing in statistics and would not, therefore, be identified as trafficked or as kidnapped unless rescued. BNWLA has encountered rumors that some privately run orphanages and school or orphans or homeless children are being used as recruitment and collection sites for children who are then trafficked. These rumors are very difficult to prove given the risk involved and the fact that such institutions are guarded and difficult to monitor.
6 Supply And Demand
Given the factors outlined earlier as background, it is not difficult to understand that in Bangladesh there is an almost limitless supply of children easily recruited through offers of employment and marriage or through kidnapping. This is machete by a sharp increase in demand for children as both sexual objects, as camel Jockeys and for purposes of cheep and easily controlled labour. It can be said that although there seem to be tow or three primary purposes for which Bangladeshi children are trafficked, children are in fact trafficked for almost any purpose or in order to engage them in almost any form of labour. Therefore, any need perceived or real which requires cheap and easily controlled labour provides a demand which can be reality filled by Bangladesh children.
As already stated with regard to commercial sexual exploitation, speculation among some researchers and NGOs links the demand for ever younger sex “partners” with the spread AIDS.
As well, labour migration is related to an influx of sex workers in that large congregations of single men temporally residing in an area not considered “home” create a demand for cheap and available sex. Often male migrant labours desire sex workers who share with them a common linguistic and cultural background. This involves the migration of sex workers form the home country. Given that labour migration is a phenomenon of rest proportions for Bangladeshi men, it is not therefore; slurping that there would also be an accompanying migration of Bangladeshi sex workers to the same destination countries. Often this migration takes form of trafficking and for children, trafficking and sexual exploitation.
In terms of the traffic and non-commercial exploitations of children, an increased demand for cheap labour of al kinds provides opportunities for recruiters and traffickers. Shop economic imbalance between developing or third world countries and developed, first world or western countries facilitates a steady flow of children, women and men from poor nations to those which are wealthy. In all situations were children have been trafficked be it as domestic camel jockeys, brides etc. there is fertile ground for abuse, children working as domestics in the homes of wealthy westerns or those of the Middle East are known to be subject to beating, verbal and physical abuse, depravation and degradation, and some to molestation, rape and murder.
Recently a demand for children to be used as camel jockeys in some Middle Eastern countries has led to an increase in the traffic of Bangladesh boys, some as young as very popular and lucrative sport. The enormous profit that can be made engaging in this sport have led to an increased demand for small, light weight jockeys, Given the available supply of Bangladeshi children, and the fact that there exists a substantial labour migration of Bangladeshi women and children to the Middle East it is not surprising that this has become a purpose for which children are trafficked out of Bangladesh.
Perceived as well as real need is also linked through a complex system to supply and demand. Consumerism creates an environment in which there is ever increasing perceived need for goods as an indication of one’s status position in life. A globalize consumer culture is therefore identified by some researchers and NGOs as partial cause for the increase in the traffic of women and children. For those being trafficked this means an increased willingness to risk possible abuse in exchange for the promise of increased carriages. For those purchasing the services of trafficked children, this means the perception of need in the form of domestic and nannies accompanied by the status of “owning” the rights to another’s labour.
7 Purposes For Which Children Are Trafficked
The purposes for which children are trafficked do not always match the method used to recruit them. For example, a child recruited through marriage could be trafficked for the purposes of prostitution and might eventually end up in a Bombay brothel. Similarly, those recruited through the promise of employment as a gardener’s assistant in India could wind up forced to race camels in Dubai. As well, those who are recruited with the promise of work in a Bangladesh city could end up in another country.
It is also true however that in some cases recruitment practices employed matches what the child is eventually trafficked to do. So for example, a child’s parents may be told that their son will be taken to Dubai to work as a camel jockey and that may be precisely what happens to the child. In such cases, and as was already noted, it may be inappropriate to label the situation “trafficking” but rather is should be considerable a situation in which “Forced labour and slavery like practices” came into play.
For this report, BNWLA has chosen to focus on two distinct purposes for which children are most commonly trafficked, camel racing and prostitution. It should be noted, however, the although these are the most common purposes they are not the only purposes for which children are regularly trafficked. The situations that trafficked children ultimately find themselves in vary widely and cover virtually every possible form of exploitative and abusive labour.
7.1 Camel Jockey
BNWLA and other NGOs researching child trafficking have learned that young boys are regularly trafficked out of Bangladesh to the Middle East primarily Dubai-in order to be used as camel jockeys, Research indicates that the boys are often as young as five years or as old 12. Some of the factors behind why these children are trafficked for this purpose are outlined above under supply and demand. Traffic for the purpose of camel racing seems to be quite substantial. In Titu’s village alone, BNWLA researchers found that at least nine boys had been recruited for this purpose by one woman over 15 month period. In some cases there is reason to believe that the parents understood that their children would be taken to Dubai and that they would work there as camel jockeys.
However in the majority of cases parents were under the impression that their sons had been taken to Dhaka to work although during the six month slavery study reported here, BNWLA teams only encountered this one instance where it was known that the children were trafficked for the purpose of camel racing it is believed that the number of young boys taken to Dubai and other Middle Eastern countries for this purpose is much greater than this and other research indicates. Reports of Bangladeshi children being used as camel jockeys have appeared in the media as far back as 195. Among the more recent are two reports of traffickers intercepted while transiting India with Bangladeshi children bound for the Middle East. In November 1997, 12 children were rescued in Delhi and earlier in 1997, 34 were rescued in Madras. In both these situations, they were being trafficked for the purpose of camel racing.
7.2 Child Labour
At this time, although Bangladesh has in place labour laws restricting the employment of children, it is estimated that there are 6.3 million children working in Bangladesh and that 32 percent of those are prostitutes (UNICEF). These children are the least skilled, least valued and most vulnerable members of the work force .Survival demands that the work, yet rarely does employment provide then with skills that would enable them to move beyond the extreme poverty into which they were is born .Training is rare, illiteracy very high and those that are working have no time, energy or opportunity to gain the most basic of educations.
Without viable skills they are forced to take on the lowest paying and most menial tasks ranging from factory work to selling flowers on the street. It is a common sight, for example, to see children as young as seven years chipping bricks and halving dirt on construction sites working up to 12 hours a day for less than 20 take ($0.35us
Not only are these children paid meager wages for their labour, but like most of the unskilled work force in Bangladesh, they have no protections against job site abuse, injury or loss of employment. In most cases their families depend on their wages for survival.
The combination of extreme vulnerability and desperate need to maintain employment, make these children highly susceptible to abuse. Employers can essentially, get away with any thing from regular beatings, sexual abuse, the withholding of pay and, in some eases, murder, police corruption, the cases with which state officials can be bribed to alter records and general indifference forward most abuses leave the families of children, and the children themselves, virtually powerless to obtain legal recourse should such abuses occur.
Convention concerning forced labour
7.3 Child Labour Migration
It is a fact that the villages and rural areas of Bangladesh cannot sustain the growing population. Migration out rural areas in heavy and children are regularly send from rural villages to possible or real jobs in other parts of the country or, increasingly” beyond its borders. Child migration does not necessarily include the accompaniment of parents or guardians. For example, a village landowner might move to Dhaka for work and being or send for a village child to work in his her or her house as a domestic helper. The uncle of village child might migrate to the city and take along his nephew or niece to help him in his work. A friend of a relative might be working in Dhaka in a garment factory and offer to take village girl back to the city to work in the same garment factory. Child migration is not confined to Bangladesh. Any one of the example Scenarios could involve a child migrating to another country for labour, like child labour, labour migration is a Survival factice. These have both, in turn helped create a labour market reliant on cheap, readily available end easily controlled child workers. In the face of the overwhelming need for children to work and to migrate for employment it is very difficult to make distinctions between “trafficking” and migration, and given the general status of child labourers, between labour practices which are simply intolerable and those which fall into the category of” Forced labour and slavery – like practices”
Few parents of agrarians have the luxury of closely examining a situation before sending a child of work in another area. Details such as where the work will take place under whose care child will full, how to maintain contact, the specific nature of the work etc, are rarely sought. Parents of guardians who told their children will work as domestics, in garment factories or shops, For example, rarely hesitate before agreeing as these jobs are considered the most desirable. When offers of employment involve migrating to another country where wages are higher and the promise is that money will be sent home regularly, most parents are even less inclined to ask question It is important to organize that all forms of child labour and all instances involving child migration for local sites for potential abuse.
However, to simply crack down on labour violation as a “solution” would only serve to further persecute those already suffering and to do so would mean putting millions of Bangladesh children out of work. This “solution” fails recognized that for many families the loss of one child’s wages can tip the balance from survival to starvation. The end result would liked be that many of those children unemployable would be forced out the family, abandoned and left to survive on their own.
The conclusion is that careful identification of the root problems child trafficking, forced labour and slavery like practices is required as it is the identification of the problem that will direct “solutions” The fact is that with 48 percent of the population living in extreme poverty, reality demands that children work and that some migrate beyond the country’s borders to find employment. As well, there now exists in Bangladesh a market that has become dependant to some extent on child labour. Neither of these will change quickly, Attempting to “Solve” problems associated with the fact of child labour by fully implementing or amending existing laws which prohibit child labour will only serve to drive the employment of children father underground, effectively increasing the vulnerability of child labourers.
Accepting the necessary of child labour as a starting point and then shaping “solutions” with that acceptance in mind, might, however, result in some improvements to the correct vulnerability of those children forced to work. This approach would involve a fairly radical shift in a attitude as it necessitates the acceptance of child labour but would unable or promote the setting up of system to help ensure that abusive labour practices were curtailed. These could include examine such factors as working conditions increased regulation of work sites, on site safely and health standards, systems through which Child labours could organize for the protection of their rights, the identification of unacceptable forms of employments, the implementation of child labours through which child labourers could obtain legal recourse and due compensation for abusive labour practices etc.
Two general heading child labour are:
1) Hazardous labour
2) Intolerable labour
|work place||Nature of|
|Danger of work|
|Chemical Factory worker||unskilled||a) Life at risk|
b) Vulnerable to serious diseases leading to physical and mental disability
|Match and fire work factory||Monotonous||a) Life risk|
b) Vulnerable to physical injury
|Glass factory worker||Strenuous, unskilled||Vulnerable to physical injury|
|jute and cotton industry worker||Monotonous, unskilled||Vulnerable to diseases of respiratory system|
|Cement industry worker||Unskilled, strenuous||Vulnerable to diseases and physical injury|
|ceramic industry worker||Unskilled, monotonous||Vulnerable to physical safety|
|Biri factory worker||Unskilled monotonous||Vulnerable to addiction and diseases|
|Leather Industry worker||Unskilled strenuous||Vulnerable to diseases.|
|Welding||Strenuous, unskilled||Vulnerable to health development and physical injury, particularly eye-diseases|
|Ship breaking industry||Strenuous, unskilled||Vulnerable to physical accident|
|Deep sea fishing||Strenuous, monotonous||Vulnerable to desperation accident, loss of life|
|Construction work||Strenuous, unskilled||Vulnerable to physical injury|
|Flower and other street sellers||Unskilled||Vulnerable to injury, accident and phone to trafficking|
|Transport helper||Strenuous unskilled||Vulnerable to physical accident and life of risk, different to powerless ness and desperation.|
|Sl. No||Work Place||Nature Of work||Danger of Work|
|Assisting salesmanship and catering||Strenuous, Unskilled||Vulnerable to ill health and danger to powerless ness deterrent to schooling|
|Domestic health||Strenuous, unskilled and abusive||Vulnerable to physical and mental abuse and torture and danger to power less-ness and desperation.|
|porter||Strenuous, unskilled||Vulnerable to exploitation and fool for other misdeeds.|
|Agricultural work||Strenuous, unskilled||Vulnerable to diseases and deterrent to formal education|
|Tinkering||Unskilled||Vulnerable to health and deterrent to moral and social development|
|Fish processing||Strenuous unskilled||Long working hours thus vulnerable to health and deterrent to schooling.|
7.4 Child Marriage, Religious, Cultural And Social Attitudes
It is not known how many female children are regularly married in Bangladesh, but anecdotal stories complete during many research indicates that the number is high. During awareness training and workshops conducted with kazis (Muslim marriage registrars) in rural areas.
The surprising thing is that in many cases both state and religions leaders defend the practice and an awareness of the fact that most notarized affidavits declaring the legal age of these children are false. Both Muslim and Bangladeshi state laws prohibit the marriage of young children. State law sets the legal age of marriage for girls at 18 years and Muslim law requires that both parties enter into an agreement willingly. However, even among marriages conducted between adults, most are not registered, few are accompanied by agreements and many involve various forms of coercion and the abuse of authority in order to force compliance on the part of female participants. It is also common practice for villagers or rural dwellers to assume a marriage very easily imposed, a condition which provides the “Husband” with over whelming power and authority over his ‘wife”.
In support of child marriage, many argue that prepubescent girls are at risk of rape,
Sexual abuse and molestation, any of which would render not only them but also their female siblings unmarriageable. Female child marriage therefore, is seen as a preventative measure and a proactive solution to the problem of child abuse. As well, both families benefit in that one reduces the number of children to be fed while the other acquires free domestic help.
So long as girls remain unmarried they must continue to reside in the home of a male member of their family(Father uncle brother, grandfather) and are viewed therefore, as a burden both financially and in terms of the increased responsibility of ensuring that they remain ”marriageable” as they get older.
Despite the fact that dowry was outlawed many years ago, the practice continues poor families, however, cannot afford to pay dowry which leaves their unmarried female members at a disadvantage. when an offer of marriage not requiring dowry is made, most poor families accept regardless of the fact that such offers usually require girls to migrate to India or Pakistan where the become isolated from their families and villages. Due to their isolation these girls or young women are made more vulnerable than they might otherwise be. However, as will be seen in subsequent sections of this chapter, cultural attitudes been all married women the responsibility to their husband, leaving even those suffering abuse in their home villages with very little protection.
A great many complex factors come into play to create an environment in which child marriage is a common occurrence, these factors are deeply rooted in history, culture and religion and are not easily circumvented or counteracted. However, the fact remains that underage girls or young women forced into marriage either due to concerns that they will be rendered “Unmarriageable” through rape, sexual abuse or molestation (or the suspicion of such) or the perceived need to pay dowry are at increased risk of abuse along with other factors . Regarding cultural and religious attitudes which generally place women in positions of extreme subordination and vulnerability, these create situations or sites of which women a girl children are also of risk of being trafficked.
Salma Ali “Trafficking in children and their exploitation in prostitution and other intolerable froms of child labour in Nepal: Bangladesh country report” Kathmandu, Nepal, October 1998
7.5 Child Prostitution
At the confluence of child labour immigration and child marriage with accompanying religious and cultural attitudes is the site of child sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. Not all trafficked children are forced to engage in prostitution nor are all those involved in the sex trade trafficked. However, it is believed by many NGOs and organization conducting research into the sexual exploitation of children that the number of child prostitution and the number of children trafficked are linked. It is felt that many, it not most children engaged in sex work were trafficked at one time or another.
Research by NGOs world -wide indicates that the average age of those involved in sex work is dropping and that increasing numbers of children are engaging in sex work. This is viewed as one of the contributions to child trafficking, an increased demand for ever your year girls as sexual object provides a need that is easily filled by the supply made possible through factors out lined earlier as back ground. It is not clearly understood why the demand for young girls is increasing, however some NGOs speculate that if may be linked to the fear of AIDS with the belief being that young or virginal girls are not carriers of the disease. Regardless of the reasons behind the demand, fact remains that on a global scale, the average age of those working in the sex trade is dropping.
There is no set pattern under which children engage in sex work. They do so under all possible “arrangements” in organized brothels. On the streets, as individuals as “call girls” or among large groups. In general, it is very difficult to determine the number of Bangladeshi children engaged in sex work both within Bangladesh and outside its borders. This is true for a number of reasons, the fact that prostitution parse is illegal in many counties and that child prostitution is illegal in all countries that adolescent girls often do not them selves know their exact age, that many possess documents falsely stating their age as that of an adult, that many of those ‘rescued” deny having engaged in the sex work, etc. The fact that children engage in sex work outside of the relatively controlled environments of brothels also greatly compounds the difficulty of estimating number of those working in this area. A sample survey conducted by BNWLA of 135 brothel based prostitution in Bangladesh indicated that more than 65 percent were between the ages of 11 and 13, and that 33 percent were between 13 and 15 years. Police estimate that there are currently 15 to 20 thousand child street prostitutes in Dhaka and a recent study of the same population (INCIDEN) indicates that most enter the profession before reaching puberty, with the mean age for girls set at 12 years. The social welfare Board of India estimates that 2.7pereant of all prostitutes working in India are from Bangladesh, making them the largest population of foreign born prostitutes working in India.
Based on extremely conservative estimates of the total number of prostitutes in India (3 million), this means that at 81thousand Bangladeshi are working as prostitutes in the country. The majority of these are under the age of 18.
Within Bangladesh, national law does not prohibit prostitution. However all circumstances Surrounding the trade (Maintaining a brothel. soliciting ,accepting payment for “immoral” acts etc) are criminalized this and a law which stipulates that only those engaging girls under the age of 18 for commercial sex are liable to punishment has led to the punishment has led to the perception that by possessing an affidavit confirming their age as more than 18, sex workers are “registered’ These affidavits are easily obtained form Notary publics or first class magistrates. Who are regularly bribed to swear to the age of adolescents whom they have not seen. Although currents estimates indicates that less than 15,000 prostitutes working in Bangladeshi brothels possess such affidavits, this number is rising an increasing number of sex workers, pimps and brothel owners see the possession of such affidavits as protection against trafficking violations. Many times shown that half of those currently possessing such documents are actually under the age of 18 and it is reasonable to assume that this percentage will increase numbers of those attempting to protect them selves through the possession of such documents.
As stated earlier, not all those children as sex workers were trafficked. However, based on the estimates above it can be assumed that a large percentage of children who are trafficked out of Bangladesh are either immediately or eventually “sold” force or otherwise compelled to engage in sex work. It is interesting to note, however, that INCIDENs 1997 study of child street prostitutes in Dhaka indicated that some 70 percent of the sample population migrated to the city from rural areas but only 21 percent of those interviewed identified themselves as trafficked. However, as no definition of trafficking was given in the report there is reason to believe that a percentage of those who identified as having “immigrated” were likely trafficked. Religious and cultural attitudes play a strong rote in the traffic and sexual exploitation of children. Offer girls will be abducted and raped as a form of initiation. Cultural attitudes label these girls unmarriageable and unwanted. Knowing this and that they would most likely be rejected by family and village should the attempt of return, these girls (usually adolescents)
Frequently fell compelled to enter the sex industry. This choice is migrated by the fact that in Bangladeshi society, as mentioned earlier, single women are unable to survive in society. The further binds the girls to their male rapists who then typically become their traffickers or Pimps or Dalals. Those sexually abused or raped while working as domestics or in other capacities often feel similarly compelled.
At the beginning of this section it was stated that child marriage and child labour Converge to form sites that foster the sexual exploitation of children. It is known that the marriage of both girl children is common “recruitment” method for trafficking despite the fact that in many cases, those who married and moved are not identified by villagers and family members as having been trafficked and would therefore, not be included in statistics reflected this form of recruitment .Those who are first married before being trafficked suffer the loss of the few protections that might otherwise be available. They are not identified as kidnapping victims and rarely us the victims of rape (given that through marriage even marriages involving underage children the “Husband” gains sexual rights over hid “wife” nor as already stated, as trafficking victims)
Human rights watch Bangladeshi Women and Girls trafficked to Pakistan, 2000
8 Primary Recruitment Areas And Routes
Within Bangladesh there is no single area or region which can be identified as the primary site from which children are recruited and trafficked. Trafficking case in 42 of the 64 Bangladeshi districts and it is likely that all 64 districts have been sites of recruitment for child trafficking. In general, any area in which there are poor, landless or displaced people is a potential site for recruitment and trafficking. Those areas along the western border of the country, where illegal crossing are easy and road access to Calcutta good area also preferred sites from which to traffic individuals.
Of the 271 cases documented during the six months preceding this report, the four districts in which most cases originated were Jessore (50) Rangpur (23) Dhaka (23) and Chittagong (16). It is not surprising that a large number of documented cases originated in Jessore, given the fact that it is the closest Bangladeshi district to Calcutta city and that there exist good road and rail links to the border with equally good road access from the border to Calcutta. Rangpur is believed to be a site of heavy recruitment due to the fact that it is relatively close to the northern border which again ,is easily crossed and where a well used highway extends south in India along the border to Calcutta.
Rangpur is also known to be district of relative poverty which would simply recruitment. It is likely that Dhaka is the site of a relatively large percentage of trafficking cases due simply to the fact that it is by fur the most populous area of the country. It is also the site of millions of homeless and slum dwelling children chaotic and the destination of thousands of people migrating for work. As already mentioned, not all children migrating to Dhaka are accompanied by parents, leaving them, in general less protected. Chittagong is believed to be the site of greater number of cases than most other districts due to the general level of poverty in the region and the fact that large numbers of people in that area are displaced and homeless due to ongoing friction between the hill tribes and others. Research other than that conducted for this report indicates other areas from which large numbers of women and children have either been trafficked or have gone missing and are presumed trafficked. Those which have been published in other reports include:
- 3,500 girls trafficked out of Cox’s Bazar over the past ten years.
- In 1996, give Rohinga refugee girls were rescued in Chittagong.
- Also in Chittagong in 1996, 97 persons were rescued while being trafficked
- In 1992, the BDR of Jessore rescued 500 women and children being trafficked to India.
- In 1997 BDR arrested 577 men, 90 children on charges of illegal border crossing.
As well, during BNWLA have found evidence that India and Bangladeshi enclaves are used as both recruitment and gathering sites for those being trafficked.
The enclaves which appear to be the ones used most often for these purposes are chose in the districts of Kurigram and Lalmonirhat because of their proximity to the border and the lack of law enforcement agents operating in the areas.
Kurigram shares a 238 km border with India and contains nine Indian enslaves while there area corresponding 17 Bangladeshi enclaves Just over the border. Lalmonirhat shares 359 km of border with India and also contains a number of Indian enclaves with corresponding Bangladeshi enclaves nearby.
Speculation is that traffickers may use government and privately run shelter homes or orphanages as both recruitments sites and gathering points for children to be trafficked. Although information confirming this suspicion has been almost impossible to obtain, rumors is that numerous children go missing from these institutions regularly .The fact that information regarding the residents of such institution is closely guarded and that officials attached to the institution refuse to share information with researchers could be taken as reinforcement of the above suspicions. As well given the secretive nature of the orphanages and shelter homes, it can be said that the environment supports the abduction and recruitment of children who might then be trafficked however, more research should be conducted before it can be said conclusively that such institutions are being used for the purpose of trafficking children.
- Salma Ali survey in the area of child and women trafficking
Dhaka, July to December 1997 at PP. 35-43
8.1 Routes Taken
As stated earlier, Bangladeshi children and women are trafficked both internally and externally to urban centers within their own country and to other nations, primarily India, Pakistan and those of the Middle East. It is not known for certain in Bangladeshi are trafficked beyond these countries, but speculations that in some cases these countries may be temporary destinations with children moved further a field after a period of time. For children trafficked out of Bangladesh. India is both a transit and destination country. Routes used for both internal and cross border trafficking include land air and water.
The inform those transporting the children which border points are safest and arrange for transport to those points. Train are also employed land research indicates that children recruited in Noakhali, Comilla, and Chandpur are moved by train. Those from Chandpur are taken to Lasksham Railway station, then to Akhoura and across to India. From Noakhali and Comilla, individuals are taken by train through Chagalniaya of Feni or Kotokbazar of Cmolla. From Chittagong children are transported by train to Dhaka’s Kamalapur station then through Lalmonirhat to India.
However in general given the fact that no borders are crossed when trafficking children internally, virtually any mode or route can and is used to transport women and children either to urban centers within Bangladesh or to the borders towns were illegal crossings are easiest and safest.
Those who cross the border illegally are unrecorded unless subsequently intercepted most often when intercepted; the children are themselves charged with passport Act violations and so are not viewed as having been trafficked. Water routes are also used for illegal or unrecorded border crossings.
For those trafficked by air out of Zia international Airport in Dhaka a Visa or passport required. However, in the case of both children, it is relatively easy to have those being trafficked listed under another’s passport women are usually listed as wives or sisters and children are simply listed as the dependants of those trafficking or Trans porting them.
- Office of the BDR (Public Relation Department)
- BNWLA Research team finding
8.2 Specific Routes
Given the case with which the border between Bangladesh and India can be crossed illegally it is likely that virtually any points along the borders is used to traffic children into India. However, the major trafficking point are those which can be accessed by well maintained roads, river or railway lines and which have good road and rail communication continuing on the Indian side.
In the south, Jessore and Satkira districts are believed to be most commonly used for crossing the border due to their proximity to Calcutta. durring research al three border points in Satkira and Jessore.
Observation took place during the rainy season and it is believed that at other times of the year, the number of illegal crossing would be much grater. Although it is understood that not all those crossing the border illegally are being trafficked these statistics are included as an indication of the prevalence of illegal crossings.
Certainly a percentage of those crossing illegally are being trafficked. The Benapole border area in Jessore has become one of the more popular sites of illegal border crossing and so is also likely a point through which children are trafficked. Along this part of the border unique businesses eater to those wishing to cross illegally small houses provide shelter and food, and act as gathering points for those waiting to be escorted across the border at right, a service for which payment pay 500 taka. Throughout Jessore are “travel agents” offering to arrange border escorts. These advertise their services quite openly.
Other border points used for crossing the border illegally from Jessor to India include, Bagachra, Sadhipur, Goga, and And Putkhali. Those in Satkhira are Kalaroa, Debhata, Kaliagonj and Satkhira sadar.
In Rajshahi, the PadmaRiver is easily crossed during the winter when water levels are low. Vast treats of the border in this and other areas are not patrolled; people simply wade across to an open area on the Indian side that also is not patrolled.
Observing many organization four border points in one day, recorded 492 children illegally crossing the border those crossing did so by boat, on foot and via rickshaws and vans. Again, these numbers are included as an in dictation the prevalence of daily elegance border crossings. In Nawabgonj and Rajshahi, research indicates that the most frequently used points to cross the border illegally are Nawabgonj, Sibganj, Bholahat, Godagari and Rajshahi. In the north Dinajpur is considered the district through which most children are trafficked.
Prior to the 1947 division of the Indians sub continent, this region was connected to what is now west Bengal by both road and rail links. These lines remain to day and are, therefore used for crossing both legally and illegally. Rail links connecting a number of other districts through out the North West of Bangladesh converge at Parbotipur Rail station in Dinajpur bringing people from all over the north. This station is just 20 kilometers from Hili which situated on the border and is a known site of both smuggling and trafficking. It is likely that women and children are brought to the area fro other regions in the north then transported from Parbotipur over land to Hili where they cross into India. When crossing illegally, traffickers or migrants make use of nearby unparallel land then travel the few kilometers to the railway line or highway.
Other points through which people regularly cross the border illegally from Dinajpur and Naogaon include, Hili, Nitpur, Ciroti, Hutshanl, Nirmail and Agradigon. According to BDR sector commander for Rangpur, the most commonly used border points for crossing in the north are Hili, Singimari Mogol hat, Burimari, Durgapur, Villa Bari, Ram Khana, Vurungamari and Batrigach.
9 Level Of Incidence
As stated earlier the number of children and of women who are trafficked annually within and beyond the borders of Bangladesh is very difficult to determine and estimates published in reports to very widely. Estimates are based in part on the number of cases recorded, the number of Bangladeshi women and children residing in other countries, the number of illegal border crossing, the number of police and BDR reports and the number of Bangladeshi girls working in sex trade in India and Pakistan. Due to the number in which estimates are typically compiled there are no estimates indicating the number of children trafficked internally. However, among those indicating the number of children trafficked beyond the borders are:
* 13,200 children trafficked out of Bangladesh in the past five years.
* 30,000 Bangladesh children work in the brothels of India.
* 20,000 Bangladesh children work in brothels, of Pakistan.
* In the past five years 4,700 children resaved from traffickers.
* 4,500 women and children trafficked to Pakistan yearly (SAARC and UNICEF).
* During the years 1990 to 1992, 1,000 example of child trafficking were documented in the Bangladesh popular press.
* During one three month in 1995, there of 69 children rescued at the border.
When the compiling estimates, numerous other factors are also taken into account and with which estimates are adjusted either up or down. These include the fact that not all illegal borders crossings involve trafficking, that not all those working or confined to brothels inside Bangladesh or outside its borders were trafficked, that not all trafficking scenarios are identified as such by either the victims or those close to the victims.
Organization BNWLA’s survey project, research farms working both in the field and compiling statistics through new reports recorded 187 cases involving children out of a total of 271 probable trafficking cases. In an effort to contain their numbers to the greatest possible extent, researchers were fairly rigid with regard to what determined a trafficking scenario. Never the less as will be explained in more detail in subsequent sections in report it remained very difficult for term members to reach firm Conclusions in some cases. As a result statistics compiled by the farms do not include situations involving unconfirmed or questionable rumors of children and women missing, those situations in which there was Considerable debate as to whether a situation involved trafficking or merely migration, and those in which it appeared that threats accusations or rumors of trafficking resulted from factors such as land disputes, jealousy or family rivalry other than factors more likely to indicates true trafficking scenarios. These restrictions were necessary but may have meant that some situations involving trafficking did not get included in the statistics .As a result, with regard to compiling statistical date confirming the traffic of children and women, It can be argued that perceived need to determine exact or near exact numbers regarding the level of incidence is a “red herring” a misleading or false concern in which many NGOs, GOs and others conducting research into the issue of trafficking become unnecessarily caught. The fact remains that, regardless of hard numbers, thousands of children and women are trafficked both within Bangladesh and across its borders annually This is known simply from the number of individuals encountered in brothels and from accounts of those trafficked as domestics, camel jockeys etc. who have witnessed others similarly trafficked. In the face of the reality exact numbers seen irrelevant.
10 Case Study
The following are a number of case studies drawn from compilations of field research notes and newspaper reports the represent a small portion of are:
Case Study – 1
Trafficking of destitute children in Chilakaluripet:
Eighteen year old due has been living in Chilakaluripet since the Age of 11. She was brought here by a broker and Citter attaining puberty was turned into sex worker.
AS a destitute child, DU was roaming the stress of a village in Gaunter district. Uncared for, unkempt and almost insane when the broker found her .He asked her to accompany him and promised to look alter her by providing food, clothes and shelter, She accompanied the broker to Chilkaluripet, where he sold her to women named SB. The amount involved in such a sale at Chilakaluripet can be as low as RS.200.
Sufficient to take care of the broker liquor requirement for a couple of days. Sometimes, the amount can very between RS. 2,000 and RS.5,000 depending on the negotiation skills of the broker DU worked in the house of her “owner” SB till she attained puberty the “owner” fed and clothed her well hoping that the investment would come good when the girl was ready to be pushed into CSE. In the meantime, she was exposed to the ways of the “sex industry” by being made to solicit “customers” for the brothel or for the others girls under the control of “owner” she also ran errands like procuring liquor, Cigarettes and snacks for the customers.
On the appointed day, many girls like DU were initiated into CSE. The money earned by DU is taken away by the”owner” and the girl gets to keep only the money she receives directly from the “customs” “tips”. The “owner” provides food and shelter to DU. She illtreat and has not traveled out side Chilakaluripet, but dreems of some living in “Luxury” with her earnings from this work .SB also “owns” NM, who is the daughter of victim of CSE from Gubdivide .Her mother has deserted her as an orphan, she lived in Gudivada till age of ten. When she was brought to Chilakaluripet by a broker and gold to SB.NM eventually submitted to CSE and spent many years working for SB .When she was about 20, she became friendly with a boy in the neighborhood who worked for a diesel mechanic. It was not long before she teal madly in love with him. Being young and innocent, she could not judge his character and agreed to run away with him .It was like jumping from the frying par into the fire because her lover again forced her into CSE. She was tortured abuse and harassed when she refused.
Acquaintances who met her in Cilakaluripet reported that she was HIV positive .She also had scars on her face and wounds on her hands. At present, her where bouts are not known.
There are many “Owners” in Chilakaluripet like SB, who fel insecure when they do not have young girls at their command. The Employ traffickers to help them find destitute girls with no family to speak of .The traffickers have contacts with brokers who keep looking around for such girls at railway stations, bus stands, markets, Bazaars and fair and seize the earliest opportunely to nab the girls when they come across them, the “owners” always have space for such destitute in their houses .The network is so effective the girls from faraway towns like Rajahmundy (200km) Kakinada and those in the East and west Godavari districts can be found in Chilakaluripet.
Case Study – 2
Name : Titu
Age when trafficked : 7 years
Recruitment Technique : promise of employment
Destination : Dubai
Employment : camel jockey
Duration : 11 months
Returned to his home village by an unknown man following an injury in Dubai .
Titu was one year old when his Mother died; tearing him in the care of his father and grandmother .The family lived in Shahidnager a “Suburb” of Narayanganj near Dhaka and part of a larger. Densely populated and impoverished area that houses approximately 7,000 people . Titu’s family were themselves very poor his father was a rickshaw puller and his grandmother worked as a maid “so he was left alone and without much care” said grandfather. When Titu was seven, his grandmother was approached by an elderly village woman who anted to take Titu to Dubai for employment. “Everyone knew Shonei Bibi in the area. She had taken many children to Dubai, so we immediately accepted he offer” Shonai Bibi promised that after three month’s Tutu’s family would begin receiving monthly remittances of about 2,000 taka. Titu says that in Dubai he and a number of other children were put under the care of a woman that they were instructed to call “mother” He says he was well fed and well taken care of, But forced to race camels. “I used to get frightened when the camels ran very fast. The trained me for hours together” Titu was unite successful as camel Jockey, and was given a colour TV and gold Jeweler by the man whose camels he rode .However, during one race he fell and was trampled. He suffered a head and leg injury, the extent of which are not known, and which were treated in a Dubai hospital.
Shortly after his injury, Titu was escorted back to Bangladesh and returned one night to his home village by an unknown man who left when reached Titu’s house. Titu is now laving with his father a grandmother again. He exhibits symptoms of shock and trauma, and others believed to be related to the head injury sustained during his fall in Dubai.
Addendum: Titu’s return prompted the eventual arrest of Shonai Bibi on trafficking related charges. After he returned, Titu began talking about the fact that he’d seen some other village boys in Dubai and they too were forced to work as camel jockeys. The father of one boy, who had thought Shonai Bibi had taken his child to work in Dhaka, filed a case with the local police.
Upon investigation it was learned that Shonai Bibi has been actively recruiting women and children for more than 15 years and that over the 15 months leading up to her arrest she was had contributed to the traffic of at least 9 boys. It is estimated that she has contributed to the traffic of some 200 women over the past 15 years. During that time, Shonai Bibi worked with her daughter and son-in-law who lived in Dubai most of the year. The daughter and son-in –law typically may two trips annually to Bangladesh were they picked up children that Shonai Bibi had recruited.
As result Shonai Bibi is being held in custody while an investigation into her case in conducted by the police. Charges under the women and children oppression Act, 1995 have brought against her.
Case Study – 3
Name : Fatema
Age when trafficked : 10 years
Recruitment technique : Illegal marriage
Destination : India
Duration : Approximately one and half years.
Now living in the BNWLA shelter home where she has been for 3 months.
Fatema was forced into marrying 50 year old Murad Mia when she was 10 years old. The take “peer” or holy, had married Fatema’s elder sister, and is suspected of also having married 13 other women many of whom he subsequently trafficked or abandoned.
As peer, Murad was believed to have the power to converse with spirit and, through them to predict the feature. In the “recruitment” of Fatema, he made use of this belief and began by convincing her parents that the child and one of her brothers would die due to a curse put on her by a jinn or spirit.
In order to ward off this fate, he said Fatema would have to undergo daily “treatment” which took place in a darkened room where windows and doors were shut against out observation. After some time, Murad explained that the “treatment” were not working and he’d have to try something different. The new “treatment” required that Fatema spend rights alone, at Murad’s house he assured Fatema’s parents that the child would be safe because her elder sister would be present.
It is unclear how long this went or for, but eventually Fatema’s mother announced that the child would have to marry Murad.
Fatema resisted and was supported in her existences of this point by her elder step brothers and father. However the overnight “treatment” continued during one such “treatment” Murad drugged and sexually abused her. Fatema has no recollection of the incident, but was informed by her sister the next day that in the night Murad had done bad thing to her.The issue of marriage came up again and although it seems clear that Fatema continued to resist, she did so less strenuously the second time was no longer supported by her male relatives.
A “marriage” was held, though it did not conform to either state one Muslim law. However and despite these formalities, the marriage was definitely viewed as legitimate by both Fatema’s family and family and the village in which they lived shortly after the “marriage” Murad took Fatema to shyamnagar in India via jessore, there she was kept confined to a house raped and beaten nightly. At one point she overheard Murad negotiating the sale of her to a group of men. When fatema confronted him he threatened her with a gun .This prompted Fatema to run away she sought refuge with a shop keeper she’d be friended who helped her return to he home village in Bangladesh. However, as Murad’s “wife” there was no place for her in the village except, Murad’s house which is where she ended up. When Murad returned from India he beat Fatema severely for having run away. This prompted Fatema’s sister to take the child to the house of a doctor for whom she had once worked. He informed the police who moved Fatema to safe custody in the local jail. After being confined there for 15 days, members of BNWLA arranged for the transfer to their shelter home in Dhaka. She still resides in the shelter and has been three for approximately three months at the time.
Addendum: A case has been filed against Murad Mia and an accomplice, Jahangir both of whom are now being held in police custody; charges filed come under the woman and children repression Act, specifically those articles related to rape and child trafficking.
BNWLA has continued to investigate the circumstances surrounding Fatem’s case and have learned the Murad, his accomplice and a group of others have trafficked a number of women using a route through the kaliganj-Maheshpur area.
Case Study – 4
Rough ride for children from Bangladesh as camel jockeys:
Camel racing is one of the most popular traditional sports in the Gulf especially in the United Arab Emirates. It has been in practice for hundreds of years. Camel racing demands light, weight jockeys which is why children are preferred. However, this opportunely has been capitalized on by trafficker, who look for children in vulnerable situations and traffic them to be exploited as jockeys. It would be pertinent to examine the reasons why children are abused in this manner.
* It is easy to exploit children because of their innocence.
* The vulnerability of children from poor Families exacerbates the situation.
* Children tend to unquestionably accept the commands of their elders and their tolerance levels are high.
* Children can be exploited with impunity as they do not complain or do not known how to complain.
* It the persons being used a camel jockey are light, the camels have to carry less weight and are able to run faster.
* It children are tied to the back of the camel, the uneven movement of the camel during a race cruets serve inconvenience to the children, who seem and this in turn accelerates the speed of the camels. Therefore, children are easy targets of exploitation.
Here are a few reports which appeared in the media and which will give a fain idea of the nature of traffic in children for camel jockeying:
On 17 September 1997, the Chennai policy rescued 38 Bangladesh children who were going to be flown out of the UAE, apparently to serve as jockeys in camel racing. The children were accompanied by adults, who had travel document showing these children as their wards. However immigration officials smelt a rat. They separated the children from the adults and interviewed them. This exposed the trafficking scenario. The frontline report shows that the adults accompanying the children had paid agent up to 60,000 Bangladesh takes for a job in Dubai and that they were apparently give a 50 percent discount on the fee for tacking the children along their wards.
On January 2000, nine Bangladeshi children, aged between for and eight, who were being smuggled to Saudi Arabia for abuse as camel jockeys, were detained at Chennai international Airport by immigration officials. These children were accompanied by four women position as mothers. The immigration officials learnt that the travel documents were forged.
Enquiries revealed that group had left Dhaka on December 2000, sneaked into India through Bashirhat, reached Howrah to get a train to Chennai and were to leave by flight from Chennai to Dubai.
On 12 September 1997, 16 children and 18 adults who are board a flight to Sharjah were detained by the law enforcement officials at BanglorAirport. The children were tutored to say that they had come from the West Bengal and not Bangladesh.The ostensible purpose of their Journey was of visit a century’s old Durgah .Timely intervention alert officials saved the children from being trafficked.
A report in frontline which covered the Chenncu detention of 12 September 1997 mentioned above, presents the state of trafficked children as below: – The plight of the children is heart rending. They seen to be still in shock with people asking them questions they hardly understood, the answered the questions in whispers .Most did not even know where they were from. After a lot of coaxing one of them said, with tears rolling down his cheeks “I want to go back ma”
Case Study – 5
Preventing transborder Trafficking:
The ordeal did not last long for AN, a 14 years old girl from Burgan gram panchayat Darjeling, West Bengal. Who was lured from her home on the false assurance of a lucrative job. Sheer providence and the efforts of the Bhotruka team brought her back to her parents.
An, a resident of Buraganj, was very ambitions and wanted to earn lots of money. She was under the influence on PT, a local resident, who supposed to have contacts with several people in Siliguri and had offered jobs to several youngsters of the village .But the villagers found it strange that the girls who went to Siliguri never returned to the village. However, It should be stated here that the Bhoruka public well are trust has been carrying out awareness programme in Buraganj village against girl trafficking for quite sometime by organizing community meetings, creating peer educators and liking community and Panchayat members with the law endorsers. The awareness programmed aims to train the local community particularly women and Panchayat members, on issue related to women and child trafficking and methods of combating and preventing the dreaded scourge. These training programmes empower the women in these communities by assisting in the formation of Mabila Mandals which spread awareness among the general population on several issue like reproductive and child health trafficking and gender discrimination. The local youths and the community based organizations along with adolescent boys and girls in schools and colleges are also included in these training programmes. These village level groups are linked with the law enforcers who have also been trained by the trust. On the basis of the training acquired the women members of the Mabila Mandals suspected PT of being involved in trafficking. Therefore they kept an eye on the growing involvement between AN and PT. On 31 July, when AN was suddenly found missing some local youths along with the staff of Bhoruka, informed the police, since the exists a good reports between the local police station authorities and the staff of Bhoruka, the police look the complaint seriously and after some initial interrogation arrested PT. It was found that AN had been sold to a person in Silinguri from where she would be sent to Mumbai for CSE. The police officials of kharibari police station made necessary arrangements and brought AN back to her community. But the problem did not end there. AN family was reluctant to accept her and she to be given shelter of Bhorka office. Later after intense counseling by the Bhoruka teem and support from the peer educators in the village, her family accepted her. At present, she is staying with her parents and has joined a vocational course in tailoring in order to be able to earn living.
The incident proves the success of Bhoruk’s community based model as an effective tool in preventing trans border trafficking. Thus the empowerment of the community members and their link with the law enforces is acting as the catalyst for social change.
Case Study – 6
Trans border trafficking from Bangladesh to India:
Trans border trafficking of children from Bangladesh to India is an issue which has drawn the attention of all concerned. Trafficking is an offence under the laws of both Bangladesh and India.
Therefore, traffickers carry out their operations in the most clandestine manner so as to avoid detection, especially by the Bangladeshi Rifles (BDR) and civil police manning the Bangladesh border, as well BSF and other police agencies in India manning the Indian border. These agencies have, no doubt, played an effective role in preventing trafficking however; trafficking continues to take place despite their efforts. Trafficked victims are pushed into exploitative situations in which they usually remain unnoticed and unheard. Due to the initiatives taken by law enforcement officials and NGOs in India, many Bangladesh girls have been rescued from brothels and other exploitative situations in India. Many of them have been repatriated to Bangladesh. However the fact remains that many others are yet to be rescued and even among the rescued, a large number have not been repatriated .The BNWLA has been directly involved in several case of repatriation, working in tandems with NGOs and sometimes, with law enforcement agencies in India. The details regarding person who were trafficked from Bangladesh to India and who after rescue, by the BNWLA are presented below:
Table: Number of trafficked children returned to Bangladesh:
The health profile of the repatriated person shows that out of the 82 one is affected with HIV AIDS and three are suffering from tuberculoses.
The BNWLA is committed to combating trafficking children. It has identified the focal points in different parts of Bangladesh and also runs legal aid clinics. The personnel working at these focal sites carry out comprehensive programmes which involve the local communities in identifying trafficking related incidents in the area of their jurisdiction.
Moreover, the resource and information centre of the BNWLA sureties the national dailies identify any news related to trafficking.
Case Study – 7
Repatriating children trafficked from Bangladesh:
Ml is an Indian married to a Bangladeshi his father in law’s house is in Atyiares district Kurigram, Bangladesh. On 14 January 2003, MI brought HN, his wife two sons and a few other villagers, altogether 13 persons from Bangladesh to India. MI lured them with the promise that the adults would be given domestic work in Delhi and the children would be sent to the Middle East for work. MI trafficked these 13 person through the Indo- Bangladesh border at Chander Kuthi, kuchiahat. They were on their way to Delhi. As they were moving to Siliguri, they were intercepted by Dhupguri police, who asked them to provide citizenship documents. As they were unable to provide any documents and on realizing that they were from Bangladesh, the police arrested them on 24 January 2003 under section 13/14 of the foreigner Act. On being produced before the judicial court, the court ordered that HN’S two children seven years old HQ and five year old AL, be sent to korak’s home in Jalpaiguri .The remaining 11 person including HN, were ordered to be sent to Jalpaiguri Jail. Three other children- KT(12years). SM(14 years) and AM(13 years)- were also among the ones sent jail. MI sought bail on several grounds, one which was his Indian nationality. This bail was granted and he was set free. Although the principal accused had been released the trafficked persons continued to be held in judicial custody. SLARTC intervened in the matter because of the explicit violations of human right inherent in jailing innocent children and the consequent deprivation of liberty and other rights. They filed petitions before the court to allow HN’S two children to go to their home in Bangladesh. However, the charges under the foreigner’s Act come in the way of their release. Therefore, as the only alternative available, it was decided to make them plead guilty.
Accordingly, an additional petition was filed on their behalf, pleading guilty. But thing did not move the way it should have. The three principal accused, who were already released on bail, absented themselves on the dates given by the count, and therefore, the court hearing were delayed. The adjournments and the “processes in trial” went on. Finally, on 24 November 2003, the court ordered jail for ten months and fine of RS. 200 each for all the accused persons and stipulated that if they were unable to pay the fine, they would be jailed for another fifteen days.
The court specified that the punishment date would be counted from 15 January 2003. In the meantime, the defense lawyer from SLARTC pleaded for the release of the two children, HQ and Al. Despite all efforts these trafficked children were trafficked children were waiting for repatriation even in December 2003.
This case study poses many more questions, however, the fact remains that these questions lack answers. The gap between law and practice is very wide and this needs to be addressed urgently. It requires training and sensitization of police officials, praetors and Judicial officers on child rights, human rights, women rights and also the proper application of the existing provisions of special law like the JJ act ITPA. This also calls for involvement of the officials of the senior levels. In such matters of grave human rights violations, accountability of the persons concerned for their omission and commissions is an important issue which needs to addressed.
Case Study – 8
Labourers working on Salal Hydro-project V. state of Jammu and Kashmir Air 1948 se 177
Among the workmen on the site of the Salal -Hydro project were a number of minors who allegedly accompanied the male members of their family on their own and demanded employment.
Held: It is accepted that child labour is a socio-economic and that its prohibition would be socially and economically unacceptable to large masses of society. But this is why Indian constriction Act 24 limits the prohibition against employment of child labour in hazardous undertakings. Construction has been held to be a hazardous occupation in ALR 1982 SC 1473 and hence the children should not be permitted to work but persuaded to go to school.
It seems clear that if the perspective of those most effective by trafficking is maintained and their needs are given priority when shaping “solutions” opposed to the needs of the state, of Industry, of law enforcement agents and bodies a shift in attitude will have to take place in order to ensure that “solutions” enhance rather than negatively affect their positions. Given the fact that trafficking has increased sharply rather than decreased despite the fact that “trafficking” has been an issue of global concern for more than a hundred years indicates that “solutions” or approaches already attempted have been insufficient and drawn from the wrong perspective. “Trafficking” and resultant “solutions” have been defined and constructed to meet the needs of state authorities, government bodies and law enforcement agencies.
“Trafficking” has not been defined nor have “solutions” been drawn from the perspective of those most affected by the issue children trafficked.
It seems logical given the failure of previous attempts to include at this juncture the opinions, voices, knowledge and stated need of those who have been trafficked when constructed and implementing “solution” designed to impede or half that traffic.
For that reason, all suggestions regarding steps which should be taken are accompanied by an overall recommendation that further research be conducted. It is recommended that is research take the form of action and that it be specifically designed to seek out and include the voices of the children who have been trafficked themselves rather than the voices of their families, law enforcement agents, government officials or members of NGOs working in the area. It is not suggested that the opinions of these others be excluded from the research or from recommendation, but they take “back seat” to those of the children most affected.
In particular, all “solutions” involving increased law enforcement and legislation must take into account the needs of those being trafficked with the understanding that these needs will after be in direct opposition to those of the state and law enforcement agents.
This is not to say that such “solutions” will excluded the role of law or law enforcement agents rather, that the perspective from which laws are written or amended and that form which agents operate will have to be shitted and brought into line with the needs of children.
For example rather the approaching the problem of trafficking by arresting women who illegally cross the border or who engage the service of brokers to assist them in such crossings laws which enhance women’ equality or which assists in their ability to access opportunities to migrate for labour should be put in placed and enforced.
Similarly, if the desire is truly to improve the position of girls in order to decreases the number who is trafficked; acknowledging the fact that many have few options but engages in sex work is arguably a more effective step towards eliminating forced prostitution than taking the positions that all prostitution should be eliminated. Rather than arrest all women residing in brothels an action which only forces them to work in a more clandestine and therefore vulnerable fashion it might be more appropriate to remove only those who are clearly under the age of consent while implementing labour codes, etc .That help ensure the remaining, girl can carry on their work within an environment that provides them with safety, security and appropriate compensation.
Clearly in order to find and interview those who have been trafficked it is likely that research will have to extend beyond the borders of Bangladesh to those countries into which children are typically trafficked.
This will require both sufficient funds to send researchers to those areas and an active and concerted effort to forge links with organization working in the countries of destination.
In general, the nature of trafficking demands that cross border and cross cultural alliances be formed between governments, NGOs and others working to ward halting the traffic and sexual exploitation of children. These must be matched by similar alliances among agencies working internally. Greater co-operation between NGOs working locally, national and internationally must be fostered. At this time it seems that although some co-operation exists there is also a considerable mount of exclusivity among NGOs working in Bangladesh on the issue of trafficking.
One concrete suggestion to help forward increased co-operation is that a data base be set up, maintained and shared among those working in this area with access provided to all interested. Although this would be small step toward co- operation, it would at least help ensure that an evolving and more comprehensive “picture” of the traffic children within and beyond the borders of Bangladesh take shape. As well, such a measure would assist all those involved in research while helping to limit the duplication of research.
As well, due to the complexity of factors contributing to the traffic and sexual exploitation of children no single approach or focus will be effective on its own. A comprehensive approach must be taken and an environment fostering a wide range of programs must be set up.
More specifically other recommendations include the following
Recommendations to Government:
- Draft a regional treaty on child trafficking and appoint a special reporter on violence and trafficking. Develop an international stand are to secure the protection and well being of those trafficked.
- Recognize that trafficking is a from of violence. Set up a commission on violence against children which can monitor various kinds of violence, including trafficking and which can provide victims of violence with legal and assistance.
- Work as individual nations and in conjunction to review existing and conversions for inconsistencies or contradictions and redraft so that a co- ordinate approach toward the conviction of traffickers is possible. This would include the adoption of an appropriate and uniform definition of trafficking and a review of prescribed punishment for those found guilty of trafficking.
- Amend existing laws so that clear distinctions are made between illegal aliens and trafficked persons.
- Implement effective agreements to assist in and facilitate the speedy repatriation of victims of trafficking.
- Set up a common fund to be shared among regional nations and to be used to assist in the repatriation of individuals trafficked.
- Provide appropriate asylum, rehabilitation and assistance to those victims of trafficking who do not want to return to their country of origin.
- Co-operate regionally and work in combination toward the arrest, convection and extradition of traffickers. This would include the sharing of data and of combined labour.
- Set up regional mechanisms to ensure affected persons can seek unconditional and non-discriminatory justice. For example a regional level court to handle cases of cross border trafficking
- Review and amend national laws to identify and eliminate loopholes commonly used by traffickers to avoid prosecution or to obtain reduced sentences.
- Draft and pass laws which enable the prosecution of traffickers and abusers even when crimes committed do so on foreign soil.
- Fund NGOs conducting research into trafficking, and fund support the implementation of programs designed to combat trafficking, rehabilitate victims and provide appropriate shelter to those fleeing traffickers.
Recommendation for NGOs:
- Ensure that those most affected by trafficking are consulted and that their opinions, needs and knowledge are include in any efforts the suppression of trafficking consult children directly.
- Forge links, create networks and build alliances with other NGOs working in the area of trafficking and which operate both within the home country and in those overseas.
- Encourage and facilitate the sharing of data and information among NGOs, with government and police and with the media.
- Encourage governments to view trafficking as a human rights violation as well as a form of violence.
- Create regional cross-border legal aid and clinics and programs to facilitate the rehabilitation and repatriation of persons trafficked.
- Create a data bank to be contributed to regularly, maintained and shared among regional NGOs in which information regarding trafficking routes, transit points, modes of trafficking, methods of recruitment and other relevant data is stored.
- Implement programs targeting the most vulnerable members of society and which help strengthens those individuals ability to resist traffickers in particular, programs designed to help home less children.
Awareness enhancement campaign:
|Bangladesh shishu Adikar forum||Networking, workshop press Release.||Posters, newsletters. Distributing leaflets.|
|Grameen Unnayan sangstha||Group meeting, Guardian meeting, weekly meeting of members union perished meeting and cultural program.||Hand written posters, lealest lecture, street drama at hats and bazaars.|
|Marie stopes clinic||Focus group discussion, workshop survey.||Lecture, I C material.|
|Christen commission for development in Bangladesh||Discussion, workshop Seminar, meting cultural activities.||Lecture, folk song.|
|Association for community development||Group meeting, with the victims and survivors, people workshop.||Lecture and open discussion.|
Research and Documentation:
|Centre for women and children studies||Data compilation, case study, documentation, paper clippings.||Book, Reports.|
|Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar forum||Data compilation.||Newsletter, report on the number of arrested trafficking.|
|Association for Community Development||Paper clippings, statistical data collection, Research, investigation.||Book and research papers.|
|Bangladesh Human rights Journalist forum||Documentation on of paper clippings, compilation of case study form newspapers.||Preparation research materials.|
We can see many researchers documented cases involving child trafficking is a supported by long held beliefs that children are trafficked more frequently and in greater numbers than woman, beliefs based on the number of girl working in brothels in India and Pakistan, the number of children held in safe custody in those countries and the number of Bangladesh children working in a range of jobs in both Bangladesh and foreign countries. There is an increasing demand for children to work as cheap, easily controlled laboures and as prostitutes throughout India, Pakistan and into the countries of the Middle East .Given the realities of most Bangladesh children’s lives; there exists in this country a ready supply of children to meet those demands.
The recruitment of Bangladesh children is made easy as a result of the predominance. of child labour, child labour migration and child marriage coupled with overall factors of poverty, population density and religions and cultural attitudes. Transport and traffic of children is relatively easy and markets use of existing roads, railway lines and river routes .Border crossings are facilitated by both the case with which the western border can be crossed illegally and the relative simplicity of having children falsely listed as the dependants of women trafficking or trampoline them through legal border points.
Constructing “solutions” to address this problem is a complex and daunting task.
Approaches toward such “solution” must take into account the realities of children’s lives and work within chose realities .children should therefore, be consulted and allowed to contribute to the formulation of any “solution”.