Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anisul Huq on Wednesday said holistic approaches are needed to strengthen legal measures and prosecution, better protection for those at risk, and, in the longer term, close the space open to the risk of human trafficking.
“I can assure you that our government is taking this matter seriously and we will further strengthen our collaboration with international organizations like the US government in combating trafficking- in-persons,” he said.
The minister said these while addressing as chief guest an orientation programme for the judicial officers (special tribunal) on “Trafficking-in-Persons, relevant national and international legislations and ensuring justice for victims of TIP” at Pan Pacific Sonargaon in the capital.
Presided over by Director General of Judicial Administration Training Institute (JATI) Justice Nazmun Ara Sultana, the orientation programme was also addressed by Law and Justice Division Secretary Md Golam Sarwar, US Ambassador Earl R Miller, Chief of Party USAID’s Fight Slavery and Trafficking-In-Persons (FSTIP) Activity of Winrock International Liesbeth Zonneveld, among others.
“Government of Bangladesh has a zero-tolerance policy against human trafficking and is taking steps to fight this heinous crime. Our commitment to combating human trafficking is directly linked with our goals of sustainable development. We have special laws, special tribunals, judges and prosecutors for special care of these cases,” the law minister said.
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Reiterating Bangladesh’s commitment to combat human trafficking, Anisul Huq further said the country has ratified the Palermo Protocol of 2000.
“To effectively implement and deliver the combative legislative measures, public policy, and international standards of best practice, the government of Bangladesh is collaborating with non-governmental organizations and international agencies like USAID, UN agencies and technical experts to address this global issue,” he added.
“The government of Bangladesh enacted the Prevention and Suppression of Human Trafficking Act, 2012, and its Rules (2017). According to the government under the Ministry of Home Affairs has been developing National Plans of Action from the year 2009. The current National Plan of Action for Prevention and Suppression of Human Trafficking 2018 – 2022 provides a comprehensive framework for prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnership to effectively countering trafficking-in-persons,” the law minister also said.
Anisul further said that as a result of the extensive thoughts and plans of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, a committee has been formed under the Ministry of Home Affairs to follow human trafficking cases that have been filed.
“A monitoring cell has been working at the police headquarters to collect and analyze data on human trafficking. We have also set up a seamless intelligence network across concerned law enforcement and border security agencies,” he added.