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Cablegate: Bangladesh Annual Anti-Trafficking in Persons

VZCZCXRO1021
RR RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHDE
DE RUEHKA #0335/01 0600210
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 010210Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY DHAKA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3334
INFO RUEHAD/AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI 0941
RUEHTA/AMEMBASSY ALMATY 0061
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN 0061
RUEHAH/AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT 0141
RUEHEK/AMEMBASSY BISHKEK 0026
RUEHLM/AMEMBASSY COLOMBO 7799
RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 1519
RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU 8953
RUEHKL/AMEMBASSY KUALA LUMPUR 0270
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 9678
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH 0348
RUEHKU/AMEMBASSY KUWAIT 0226
RUEHMK/AMEMBASSY MANAMA 0166
RUEHMS/AMEMBASSY MUSCAT 0031
RUEHGO/AMEMBASSY RANGOON 2515
RUEHNT/AMEMBASSY TASHKENT 0146
RUEHCI/AMCONSUL CALCUTTA
RUEHDE/AMCONSUL DUBAI 0827
RUEAWJB/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEAHLC/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 10 DHAKA 000335

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR: G/TIP, G, INL, DRL, IWI, PRM, SCA/RA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KCRM PHUM KWMN SMIG KFRD ASEC PREF ELAB BG
SUBJECT: BANGLADESH ANNUAL ANTI-TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS
REPORT

REF: STATE 202745

1. This Anti-Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report covers
efforts by the Bangladeshi government (GOB) from March 2006
to March 2007, and address the questions submitted to Post by
G/TIP (reftel). Paragraph two begins text. Embassy point of
contact is Luke Zahner, Political Officer, telephone:
880-2-885-5500 x 2148, IVG post-code: 583, fax number:
880-2-882-3744, e-mail: ZahnerLV@state.gov. Compiling the
report required 88 hours at the FS-04 level, 16 hours at the
FS-02 level, and 72 hours by Political Section and USAID
FSNs.

2. Overview of the Country's Activities to Eliminate
Trafficking in Persons

-- A. Bangladesh remains a country of origin and transit,
especially for women and children, for the purposes of sexual
exploitation, involuntary domestic servitude, and debt
bondage. People from Bangladesh are trafficked to India,
Pakistan, Bahrain, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates (UAE),
and other Persian Gulf States. While Bangladeshi children,
and in particular boys, continue to be victims of debt
bondage trafficking to the Gulf, efforts by the government of
Bangladesh (GOB) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to
stop the use of Bangladeshi boys as camel jockeys and to
repatriate them have been largely successful.

Bangladesh provides a large number of laborers to other
countries, particularly to the Middle East and Southeast
Asia. While the vast majority of Bangladeshi expatriate
laborers work under legitimate contracts, some Bangladeshi
laborers are trafficked. Some are trafficked only after
arriving in their host country or in transit; there have also
been reports of collusion between illicit Bangladeshi labor
brokers and companies in the host countries.

Communities closest to border areas with India are at
greatest risk for international trafficking. The GOB has
improved its ability to keep track of those rescued at the
border and at police stations, and these numbers are fairly
accurate. There are no reliable statistics, however, for the
number of victims successfully taken out of the country.

-- B. Trafficking remains a serious problem for Bangladesh.
However, because it is impossible to get accurate figures for
those individuals trafficked abroad, it is difficult to
determine whether the trafficking situation has improved or
deteriorated. Trafficking continues to receive serious
attention from the GOB and civil society, and awareness
continues to increase due to public and private outreach
efforts.

Victims of trafficking are lured by promises of relatively
high wages abroad and by false offers of marriage or
employment. Targeted populations include the very poor,
migrants, ethnic minorities, flood and other disaster
victims, runaways, the illiterate, and women who have been
divorced, widowed, or abandoned. Trafficked children often
travel with a parent or guardian to their place of work and
are left alone with the employer after a few weeks. Fake
passports are not required for trafficking purposes since it
is not difficult to get a real passport with a false
identity. Fake birth, marriage, divorce, and death
certificates are widely available, and few people in rural

DHAKA 00000335 002 OF 010


areas register births or marriages.

The caretaker government that took office in January 2007 has
proposed steps to crack down on document fraud, including the
possible introduction of a national identification card with
strict issuance controls, but these plans are still in the
discussion phase. The new government also launched a major
anti-corruption program which has also netted people and
organizations with possible links to labor trafficking rings.
Over the past year, police and the paramilitary Rapid Action
Battalion have raided and de-licensed or closed several labor
recruitment agencies engaged in possible labor trafficking
scams.

There has been significant progress in the area of camel
jockeys. According to GOB reports, no camel jockeys of
Bangladeshi origin remain in the UAE. A total of 168 boys
originally trafficked as camel jockeys have been repatriated
from the UAE to Bangladesh under an agreement between the two
governments, and all but one have been reunited with their
families. An additional 32 boys have returned from the UAE to
Bangladesh through other channels. The GOB continued to track
trafficking cases through the anti-TIP Units at the district
and national levels.

-- C. The GOB has taken significant steps in the last three
years to combat trafficking. However, its ability to
increase trafficking prosecution is constrained by an
inefficient judicial system and untrained prosecutors. Lack
of sufficient training and resources persist. The GOB has
sought to address these problems by working with the
International Organization on Migration (IOM) to provide
training in 2007 for approximately 1,500 prosecutors and
lawyers to enhance their capacity to deal with trafficking
cases more effectively.

The GOB has not been able to provide adequate shelter for
trafficking victims and commonly relies on non-governmental
organizations (NGOs) for assistance. Bangladesh,s border
with India is not secure, and its Coast Guard has too few
resources to prevent trafficking and smuggling along the Bay
of Bengal. Although there is little direct evidence of
corruption among police or border officials in regards to
trafficking, some NGOs assume that the general climate of
corruption prevalent in Bangladeshi society is a contributing
factor to trafficking.

-- D. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MOHA) collects data on
trafficking arrests, prosecutions, and rescues, and presents
these data to Embassy personnel and other interested donors
monthly. The Monitoring Cell for Trafficking in Persons
continues to function at National Police Headquarters since
being established almost three years ago. One of the
responsibilities of the cell is to coordinate and analyze the
information coming from the police,s regional
anti-trafficking units. These regional units are responsible
for monitoring local trafficking cases and assisting
prosecutors in getting the cases to trial.

The GOB also stood up district trafficking-in-persons
monitoring committees in each of the country,s 64 districts,
headed by the Deputy Commissioner (the principal government
officer at the district level). These committees are
responsible, among other things, for monitoring selected
pending trafficking cases for fast-track trials.

DHAKA 00000335 003 OF 010

3. Prevention

-- A. The GOB acknowledges trafficking is a serious problem
and works with the U.S. and other donors to combat it.

-- B. The MOHA is the lead agency for the GOB's
anti-trafficking efforts. Other key GOB actors are the Prime
Minister's Office, the Ministry of Women and Children's
Affairs, the Ministry of Law, the Foreign Ministry, the
Ministry of Information, the Ministry of Social Welfare, the
Ministry of Labor and Employment, the Ministry of Expatriate
Welfare and Overseas Employment, the Ministry of Religious
Affairs, the Ministry of Education, the NGO Affairs Bureau,
the Department of Local Government, the Civil Aviation
Authority, the Department of Immigration and Passports, the
paramilitary ANSAR force, the paramilitary Rapid Action
Battalion, the paramilitary Bangladesh Rifles, the Coast
Guard, and the police.

-- C. The GOB continues to implement an extensive,
nation-wide anti-trafficking campaign. From April 2006
through January 2007, the GOB aired 106 public service
announcements (PSAs) on Bangladesh television (BTV), the only
terrestrial TV channel in Bangladesh. The GOB produced and
aired 444 radio PSAs on state-owned Bangla Betar radio
network during the same period. The Ministry of Religious
Affairs implemented several anti-trafficking programs
including training religious teachers who reached out of over
300,000 people. The Ministry of Social Welfare, the Ministry
of Women,s and Children,s Affairs and the Ministry of
Primary and Mass Education conducted over 380,000 awareness
sessions reaching micro-borrowers and at-risk families around
the country. About 100,000 personnel of the Bangladesh
Rifles, ANSAR and Village Defense Parties also received
anti-trafficking training.

-- D. The GOB provides stipends to girls who attend school
regularly to reduce child labor and child marriages.
Stipends are based on girls staying in school with a
monitored attendance record. Training is provided to imams
and other religious leaders to raise awareness of the problem
in mosques and religious schools. Donors, including the USG,
fund most of these programs, and NGOs implement them.

-- E. There is a strong working relationship on
anti-trafficking issues among government officials, NGOs, and
other elements of civil society. Officials from various
government offices collaborate in efforts at prevention,
victim protection, and prosecutions, and a joint
government-NGO coordination committee meets monthly to report
on progress made in combating trafficking. The MOHA also
holds a monthly meeting with the Embassy to provide updates
on their anti-trafficking efforts.

In response to concerns in 2006 of increased reports of labor
migration problems, the GOB established a high-level working
committee on labor migration problems to develop policies to
address problems with expatriate labor. The committee, which
met for the first time in February 2007, is chaired jointly
by the Foreign Secretary and the Secretary of the Ministry
for Expatriate Welfare.

One particular coordination success was the government-NGO
cooperation in handling the camel jockey situation. Shelter

DHAKA 00000335 004 OF 010


operators, customs and border officials, local prominent
citizens, and international development organizations worked
extremely well together to facilitate the repatriation of the
trafficked boys from the UAE and reunite them with their
families in Bangladesh.

-- F. Since June 2004, immigration and customs officials have
stopped more than 3,000 potential trafficking victims at the
border, mostly at Zia International Airport in Dhaka. The
government has instituted a three-stage screening process at
all international airports. Land border screening remains
weak, though the GOB has begun training land-port immigration
officials to sensitize them to trafficking issues. The MOHA
now provides updated numbers of potential victims stopped at
the borders and analyzes them with the assistance of donor
agencies and NGOs to try to identify trafficking patterns.

-- G. There are two government mechanisms for coordination
and communication among ministries: the inter-ministerial
trafficking-in-persons committee, and the joint government
thematic working group chaired by IOM. The Home Affairs
Secretary, the second-in-command at the MOHA, serves as the

SIPDIS
senior working-level government official on trafficking
issues.

The new caretaker government has begun revamping the GOB's
Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to help make it function. In
January 2007, the ACC chair and commissioners resigned, and
the government is in the process of replacing them with a
priority on rehabilitating the body and making it an
effective corruption watchdog.

-- H. The GOB launched its National Anti-Trafficking
Strategic Plan for Action (NATSPA) on February 18, 2006.
MOHA had the lead in developing the plan, but all GOB
elements on the inter-ministerial anti-trafficking committee
were involved, as were the key NGOs. Local media widely
covered the national launching ceremony for the plan.

4. Investigation and Prosecution of Traffickers

-- A. There has been no significant new legislation passed
since the 2004 report. However, in October 2006 the GOB
adopted an Overseas Employment Policy with the assistance of
IOM to clarify policy regarding expatriate workers. This is
the first such policy in South Asia, according to IOM.

The Repression of Women and Children Prevention Act of 2000
(amended in 2003) covers internal and external trafficking
for sexual or non-sexual purposes. Other laws used in
trafficking cases include the Child Marriage Restraint Act
(1929), the Children Pledging and Labor Act (1933), and the
Suppression of Immoral Traffic Act (1933). In 2005,
Bangladesh signed a Bilateral Labor Agreement with Malaysia
that stipulated policies and procedures for enforcing rules
on expatriate labor. The laws are generally deemed to cover
the full scope of trafficking cases.

-- B. The most common sentence handed down in trafficking
cases is life imprisonment, but sentences can range from 10
years of hard labor to death.

-- C. Domestic labor trafficking violations are generally
prosecuted under the Repression of Women and Children
Prevention Act as amended in 2003. Expatriate migration

DHAKA 00000335 005 OF 010


issues are overseen by the Ministry of Expatriate Welfare,
and are guided by an Overseas Workers Policy adopted by the
GOB in October 2006. Prosecutions for labor trafficking
violations are generally conducted under anti-corruption,
breach of contract, and fraud statutes. Penalties for
violations generally include de-licensing and/or closure of
the involved agency, as well as fines and possible jail time.

In 2006, the Ministry for Expatriate Welfare, the Bangladesh
Agency for Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET) and the
labor main recruitment agency umbrella organization agreed to
enforce caps on fees that recruitment agencies can charge
laborers. These registration fee caps, which are regulations
rather than laws, generally limit the amount an agency can
charge to 84,000 taka (approximately $1,200). The fee
includes airfare, health checkup, and other expenses. The GOB
is strengthening its monitoring of these agencies, though
enforcement of the caps is difficult because of deceptive
practices by some agencies, side-costs levied on workers
under the table, and general corruption.

-- D. Under the Repression of Women and Children Prevention
Act as amended in 2003, the penalty for rape is a life
sentence with hard labor, and a fine. Sentences for rape
resulting in death range from a mandatory life sentence to
the death penalty. The penalty for sexual abuse ranges from
three to ten years of hard labor as well as fines.

-- E. Prostitution is decriminalized for women over the age
of 18 who work in brothels. The punishment for pimps is ten
years to life imprisonment. These laws are not uniformly
enforced by the police.

-- F. From April 2006 to March 2007, the GOB investigated 68
trafficking cases, arrested 91 people on trafficking-related
charges, and prosecuted 70. Thirty cases (some with multiple
defendants) resulted in 43 convictions. The courts issued
four death sentences, 32 sentences of life imprisonment, and
seven sentences of lesser prison terms. There is no mechanism
for plea bargaining in trafficking cases, and imposing a fine
is not a sentencing option. Defendants in trafficking trials
and convicted traffickers are routinely incarcerated.

The MOHA and the Monitoring Unit have been compiling
information from different sources that demonstrates that
many cases are being settled out of court or because
witnesses are not showing up in court due to financial
arrangements made outside of the legal system. Bangladeshi
law treats these cases as acquittals when in fact they are
mistrials. This distorts the reality of the number of
acquittals versus convictions. The MOHA is just now starting
to come to grips with this and decide on what approaches they
can take to mitigate this situation.

In 2006, the GOB began more aggressively to investigate and
prosecute cases involving labor recruiters who made knowingly
fraudulent or deceptive offers. In July 2006, the Minister
for Expatriate Welfare stopped issuing permits for female
workers applying to work abroad after several high-profile
cases of fraud. In November 2006, authorities prevented the
potential trafficking of 30 Bangladeshi women to Lebanon
through Zia International Airport in Dhaka, and arrested five
immigration officers on suspicion of complicity in the case.
Subsequent raids on five recruitment agencies led to their
de-licensing and closure. In early 2007, as part of a wider

DHAKA 00000335 006 OF 010


anti-corruption effort, investigators uncovered linkages
between recruitment agencies and other corruption cases.
Investigations are still on-going in many of these cases. The
MOHA has also opened an investigation into the three
Bangladeshi recruitment agencies that were identified by name
in a May 2006 National Labor Committee report on potential
labor trafficking in Jordan.

-- G. There is anecdotal evidence connecting traffickers to
rings of goods smugglers, but the scope of organized
trafficking networks is unknown. NGOs cite recruitment and
employment ("travel") agencies, marriage brokers, and
opportunists with involvement in trafficking. The GOB
initiated raids on five such agencies in late 2006, and
ongoing anti-corruption and related investigations should
shed more light on these networks.

-- H. The GOB actively investigates cases of trafficking. The
GOB has begun providing more resources for anti-trafficking
efforts, but investigations are still hindered by
inadequately trained and under-resourced police and
prosecutors. The GOB does not have the skills, knowledge, or
resources to stage undercover operations or employ electronic
surveillance against traffickers. The law allows for
mitigated punishment and immunity for cooperating suspects,
but these inducements are rarely used.

-- I. The GOB continued to work with international donor
partners to develop and implement trafficking courses for the
National Police academy. In 2005 and 2006, IOM provided TIP
training for a total of approximately 25 Bangladeshi
diplomats. The Foreign Ministry has indicated an interest in
further training, and has discussed the creation of a new
module on migration and labor trafficking to improve the
ability and responsiveness of Bangladeshi embassy consular
officers to handle these types of cases.

Another GOB program with IOM support provided TIP training to
over 520 police station chiefs (out of a total of 580), to
enhance investigative techniques, cooperate with prosecutors
and civil society organizations, and prepare charge sheets on
TIP cases.

The GOB continues to work with the Embassy to develop and
provide specialized training for TIP prosecutors. One
three-week session organized in 2006 trained 90 participants,
from both legal and law enforcement agencies, in
investigation techniques, trial preparation, and
presentation.

-- J. The GOB coordinates with other governments in the
investigation, repatriation and rehabilitation of trafficking
victims. Bangladesh and Malaysia signed a Bilateral Labor
Agreement in 2005 which governs rules on Bangladeshi
expatriate laborers in Malaysia. Under this agreement, in
2006 the GOB and Malaysia coordinated a crackdown on
Bangladeshi recruitment agencies which sent Bangladeshi
laborers to Malaysia under false pretenses or with falsified
documentation. These recruitment agencies were blacklisted
from sending laborers to Malaysia in the future. The GOB and
Indian government are collaborating on a joint action plan to
repatriate child trafficking victims.

-- K. There are no pending extradition requests involving
trafficking. There is no constitutional provision

DHAKA 00000335 007 OF 010


prohibiting extradition. Civil society groups involved in
trafficking issues have entered in discussions with the GOB
on the possibility of signing bilateral TIP extradition
treaties as part of an initiative by the South Asian
Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) to combat
trafficking.

-- L. There is no evidence of systemic government involvement
in or tolerance for trafficking.

-- M. Since June 2004, there are four pending trafficking
cases involving 13 GOB officials charged with trafficking.
These cases are in various states of investigation and/or
prosecution.

In November 2006, five immigration officers are under
investigation and have been suspended in relation to the
potential trafficking of 30 women to Lebanon through Zia
international airport. The arrests led to raids on five
recruitment agencies by the para-military Rapid Action
Battalion and their de-licensing.

In February 2007, former deputy inspector of police Anisur
Rahman and his wife were arrested and charged with kidnapping
and intent to traffic. The couple claimed that seven
children of the same age living in their home were their
septuplets, but refused to take a DNA test to prove their
parentage. Alena Khan of the Bangladesh Society for the
Enforcement of Human Rights (BSEHR) filed the original
complaint under the Women and Children Repression Prevention
Act.

-- N. Bangladesh is not a source or destination for child sex
tourism.

-- O. International Instruments:
i) ILO Convention 182 (ratified in 2001);
ii) ILO Convention 29 and 105 (ratified in 1972);
iii) Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the
Child 1989 (ratified in 2000);
iv) Protocol to Prevent and Suppress and Punish trafficking
in Persons, especially Women and Children (not signed).

5. Protection and Assistance to Victims

-- A. The GOB supports one-stop crisis centers in Dhaka
hospitals that, in cooperation with NGOs, provide legal,
medical, and psychiatric services to victims. Most victim
services, however, are provided at NGO-run shelters. Since
2004, the GOB has referred 534 victims of internal
trafficking for such services. Of these, 39 women and
children were still in NGO-run shelters, 11 were in
government-run shelters, and the remaining 484 had returned
to their families or guardians.

-- B. The GOB does not fund NGOs to provide victim services,
but there is good coordination and cooperation between the
government and the NGOs. In 2006, the Bangladeshi NGO INCIDIN
opened a pilot shelter for street children at Dhaka,s main
train station in Kamalpur. The GOB provided a public
structure suitable to serve as the shelter, and has discussed
with INCIDIN how to expand the program.

-- C. There is no formal system for identifying trafficking
victims among high-risk persons with whom they come into

DHAKA 00000335 008 OF 010


contact. There is no formal process for referring victims of
internal trafficking to NGOs for shelter and other services,
but in practice the courts and MOHA officials regularly refer
victims to NGOs. In the case of the camel jockeys, a process
was set up to send the boys first to a shelter in the UAE,
and then to one of two shelters in Bangladesh depending on
the age and needs of the boy. Older boys who wanted only
vocational training went to the Dhaka Ahsania Mission
shelter, while younger boys, boys who required Bangla
language and culture classes, and boys who were interested in
following an academic course of study, went to the Bangladesh
National Women Lawyers Association (BNWLA) shelter.

-- D. The rights of victims are generally respected, and
women are not routinely jailed for having been trafficked.
However, government-run shelters remain inadequate, which is
one reason NGOs began providing shelter services and often
receive referrals from the government. Since Bangladesh is
not a destination country for trafficking, deportations and
immigration fines do not apply.

-- E. Police anti-trafficking units encourage victims and
witnesses to assist in the investigation and prosecution of
cases. Since trials are rarely continuous, and even one
witness's testimony may be heard in a handful of court
sessions over a period of months, this type of support is
important for mounting effective prosecutions. Several NGOs
assist and encourage victims to file civil suits. However,
no civil cases have been filed yet. Witnesses may leave the
country with the permission of the court (in criminal cases)
or by informing the court (in civil cases). There is no
victim restitution program.

-- F. The GOB has developed a regional witness and victim
protection protocol in conjunction with IOM. This protocol
consists of a series of policies the GOB has begun
implementing on an ad hoc basis, including protections for
trafficking victims and witnesses to testify. For example,
there are policies to permit the witness to submit testimony
in writing or to testify only to the judge, and to make it
easier to change the venue of the trial. The district police
monitoring units cooperate with NGOs in victim and witness
protection during the trial stage. In practice, most victims
are referred to NGO-run shelters.

-- G. With the assistance of IOM, the GOB provided training
on TIP-related issues to 520 police station chiefs in 2006.
This training focused on enhancing the capacity of law
enforcement officers to handle TIP cases more efficiently and
better protect and assist trafficking victims. The GOB is
also planning a training course for land-port immigration
officials on prevention of trafficking. The GOB provides
specialized TIP training to its border security forces, the
Bangladesh Rifles and the ANSAR.

In 2006, IOM gave an anti-TIP course to entry-level officers
at MFA's diplomatic training academy. The Foreign Ministry
has indicated an interest for follow-on trainings that would
also include an added module on labor trafficking for their
embassy consular officers, in order to improve their
awareness of the labor trafficking problem and enhance their
ability to respond to such cases more effectively. The GOB
has instructed its embassies and consulates to develop
relationships with NGOs that assist TIP victims.


DHAKA 00000335 009 OF 010


-- H. The GOB works closely with NGOs to provide medical
assistance, shelter, and legal and psychiatric services to
trafficking victims. Repatriated camel jockeys are receiving
approximately $1,500 each from the UAE government,
facilitated by the GOB and UNICEF.

-- I. NGOs working with trafficking victims:
i) Bangladesh National Women Lawyers Association: shelter,
legal, psychiatric services;
ii) Ahsania Mission: shelter, legal, vocational services;
iii) Association for Community Development: shelter and
psychiatric services;
iv) Rights Jessore: shelter and psychiatric services;
v) Savior Jessore: shelter and psycho social services;
vi) IOM: training for diplomats and police; inter-agency
coordination; and
vii) UNICEF: assisted in repatriation of camel jockeys;
advocacy and training on trafficking issues; bilateral
government activities with Bangladesh and India;
viii) INCIDIN: child rights, shelter for street children

The GOB collaborates extensively with all of these
organizations.

5. Heroes

Post nominates two organizations that have been powerful
advocates for child rights as anti-trafficking heroes for
this year:

-- A. Alena Khan, Executive Director of the Bangladesh
Society for the Enforcement of Human Rights (BSEHR). In June
2006, Khan and BSEHR demanded an investigation into whether
or not a retired Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) and
his wife had kidnapped seven children with the intent to
traffic them. Former DIG Anisur Rahman and his wife Anwara
claimed the seven children, all under three years old, were
their biological septuplets, although they already had seven
other children of their own. Khan obtained a court order
requiring the couple to get DNA tests to prove their
parentage, with BSEHR offering to pay. The couple refused
even under court order, and Khan then filed a complaint with
the police under the Repression of Women and Children
Prevention Act. A Dhaka court sent Anisur to jail in
February, denying his motion for bail and ordering an
investigation. In pursuing this case, Khan and BSEHR
demonstrated courage in challenging a former high-level
police official, and ensured that the seven children were
removed from the Rahman household pending resolution of the
case. (NOTE: Khan holds a valid five-year U.S. visa.)

-- B. INCIDIN. The Bangladeshi NGO INCIDIN is one of the most
prominent advocates of children,s rights in the country. It
is also the first NGO in the country to tackle such sensitive
issues as underage male prostitution, a little-discussed
problem in the country. INCIDIN has worked to remove the
stigma of discussing this subject and to shed light on this
phenomenon. INCIDIN opened a safe-night shelter for street
children in Dhaka in 2005 and has worked with the GOB to
expand the program to other parts of the country. (NOTE: AKM
Masud Ali, Executive Director of INCIDIN, holds a valid
five-year U.S. visa.)

6. Best Practices


DHAKA 00000335 010 OF 010


The establishment of 64 district level anti-trafficking
committees (one for every district in Bangladesh) should be
considered a best practice. Trying to combat trafficking by
involving local resources and breaking the issue down into
smaller, more manageable units seems like a logical and
easily replicable option for other countries.

Staff at post has participated in several district level
meetings which include key GOB representatives (district
police chief, public prosecutors, social welfare staff,
locally elected municipal/council members, etc.) as well as
civil society activists. These committees meet periodically,
but no less than monthly, to review pending trafficking cases
in their area, promote and coordinate awareness raising
activities, highlight critical issues for their locality such
as identified trafficking areas or border crossing points and
the maintain local level vigilance against this crime.

Solutions vary from district to district depending on their
particular situation but the aim is always the same: to
mitigate human trafficking and to bring justice to
traffickers and victims. These committees prepare monthly
reports on progress on arrests, adjudication of cases,
sentences for convicted traffickers and status of those
rescued. This reporting mechanism has provided decision
makers with much needed information to adjust programs,
configure new programs and how to allocate limited resources.
Post nominates this arrangement as a low-cost, low-tech
methodology that mobilizes local resources to attack
trafficking on a daily basis.
PASI

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Once upon a time, the Soviet Union was the nightmare threat for the entire Cold War era – and since then the US has cast the Taliban, al Qaeda, and Islamic State in the same demonic role. Iran is now the latest example…More


Catalan Independence:
Pro-independence parties appear to have a narrow majority. More>>