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Child trafficking has emerged as a great challenged for the entire world. The situation of child  trafficking in  Bangladesh  is  no  different  from  the  other  countries  of  Asia.  Child trafficking is such a crude form of trade in human being which aims to earn profit through sexual slavery, forced labour, debt bondage and organ sell. It snatches personal liberty and undermines personal safety and dignity along with physical and mental freedom. The victims of human trafficking are usually entrapped and exploited by the third parties. With the assistance of the national and international development partners, the government of Bangladesh is effectively engaged in prevention and suppression of this crime.

There is both internal and international human trafficking in Bangladesh. Although chiefly a source country for international human trafficking, Bangladesh in recent years has turned out to be a country of both transit and destination. In recent times, alongside intra-country and cross-border trafficking in women and children, trafficking of men for the purpose of ‘labour- exploitation’ has been on the rise. Presently the government of Bangladesh has taken up the initiative to combat human trafficking as one of its priorities.

The issue of trafficking is integrally linked to insecurity of livelihood as well as to continuing disparities and discrimination against marginalized communities generally, and against women and children in particular. ‘Many trafficked persons are lured and deceived by false promises of good jobs or marriage and some are bought, abducted, kidnapped, coerced, threatened with force or used as debt bondage. Some of these women and children are trafficked with the tacit consent of their poverty-stricken families’ (NPA 2014).

In case of internal trafficking, usually children are trapped by the trafficking through false promise of better life and work or marriage. The traffickers enslave them and engage them in such crude sectors as sexual exploitation, forced labour or brickfields- which demands hard labour. Usually the marginalized households and households affected by natural disasters or Monga (seasonal unemployment) in rural Bangladesh become easy targets of the traffickers. At the face of economic, social and gender discrimination, in these households, the women and children are under critical livelihood crisis along with high level of social insecurity.

Although land route is utilized for cross-border trafficking to India, in general for international trafficking; land, water and aerial routes are utilized and along with destinations several countries are also used as transits. India or Pakistan is simultaneously transit and destination for trafficking cases originating in Bangladesh. Human trafficking is a clandestine, organized and complex process carried out by international organized chain of criminals. As a result, it is almost impossible for the government to combat this crime in isolation. Moreover, for the fear of social discrimination and stigma, threats from the criminals, absence of access to legal assistance and for being unaware of legal provisions- in most of the cases the victims of human trafficking and their family members avoid the legal system of seeking justice. As a result, it hides the true prevalence of trafficking. It also hampers the prospect of punishing the criminals and delivering justice to the victims.

Marginalized and migrating populations, living nearby or afar from the borders are exposed to the risk of trafficking. In the border areas, as there is a history and tradition of cross-border mobility and  as  there is  a  kind  of  tolerance prevailing among the border communities for irregular mobility- high prevalence of both trafficking and traffickers is found amongst these communities. Child labour, child marriage, dowry, eve teasing, domestic violence and other forms of gender-based violence and discrimination push the children into a high-risk category for trafficking.

In  the  present  NPA  2015  the  term  ‘human  trafficking’ is interchangeably used with ‘trafficking in human beings’ or ‘trafficking in persons’, and it is used in the sense of the  recent  comprehensive  anti-trafficking  legislation  of  2011.  The Human Trafficking Deterrence and Suppression Act 2012 define “human trafficking” as: “the selling, buying,

recruitment, receipt, transportation, transfer, or harboring of any person for the purpose of sexual-exploitation, labour-exploitation or any other form of exploitation whether in or outside of Bangladesh by means of (a) threat or use of force or other forms of coercion,or (b) abduction, fraud or deception, or of the abuse of any person’s socio-economic,

Environmental or other types of vulnerability, or (c) of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person”.

The project aims at preventing trafficking in children through raising awareness of cross section of stakeholders at community and policy level along with strengthening their capacities- through awareness raising sessions, capacity building workshops, development and distribution of BCC materials and developing interactive e web-based platforms (to facilitate participation of  children  and  community actors).  The promotion part of  the intervention aims at working with and through ATSEC Bangladesh, NACG and SAIEVAC Bangladesh to enhance civil  society  monitoring on  implementation of  NPA on  human trafficking from the perspective of children, bring in effective rule for the new Act on human trafficking to uphold the rights of the children and develop regional/cross border mechanisms and approaches to deal with child trafficking through research, media campaign, national-regional-cross border conference/consultations and networking based advocacy.

The goals of the programme:

  • A social safety-net is adequately preventing child trafficking
  • An active policy-legal-service regime to combat child trafficking is put in place

The immediate objectives of the programme:

  • To raise awareness of the of the children, their parents and community members regarding trafficking in children (causes, consequences, legal provisions, sources of assistance and need of removal of social stigma to facilitate mainstreaming of the survivors and preventing push for trafficking/re-trafficking)
  • To strengthen capacity and facilitating active role of different committees formed under the NPA and Children’s Act to address the issue of trafficking in children
  • To promote of GO-NGO cooperation to protect the children employed in the informal sector of the econom y (in which trafficked children are exploited)
  • To raise awareness on social protection opportunities to prevent child marriage (of girls)
  • To strengthening coordination and capacity of the GOs and NGOs to address the issue of child trafficking through strong service and advocacy networking
  • To develop an updated knowledge base and data sharing mechanism on status (incidence, interventions, legal outcomes etc.) and trends of child trafficking

Key Components

1. Awareness Raising
2. Strengthening capacity
3. Promotion of GO-NGO cooperation
4. Strengthening social protection
5. Strengthening service and advocacy networking
6. Knowledge management

With this intervention the expected results are the parents, community, children, GOs and NGOs are having greater access to information and institutions and an active community based protection system to reduce vulnerability of children to trafficking and forced migration.

Major Activities

  • 64 Districts the awareness raising and build capacity on trafficking both in urban and rural areas through seminars, dramas, short-films courtyard meetings, rallies publishing bill boards, etc. (issues to be covered: dowry/early marriage & violence against Children as causes of child trafficking); events- funds will be held by consortium partners which they will use with the involvement of local focal points and partners of ATSEC and NACG along with the support of SAIEVAC to jointly organize the proceedings.
  • District Level Consultations with the involvement of SAIEVAC, ATSEC and NACG members at 20 High Risk Districts. Each will jointly organize at district level ATSEC and NACG members and SAIEVAC.
  • District Level School Campaign organized through the involvement of ATSEC members at 20 High Risk Districts.
  • District Level Press Conferences held with the involvement of ATSEC, NACG members at Dhaka and the 20 High Risk Districts.
  • 400,000 leaflets developed and distributed organized through the involvement of ATSEC members at 20 High Risk Districts.
  • Prepare and distribute Quarterly E-newsletter- 12 issues by the project secretariat at 64 District. The Project Secretariat will prepare quarterly e-bulletin and distribute through e-mail to ATSEC/NACG/S AIEVAC, GOs and NGOs.
  • Develop messages and circulate 3 times SMS on child trafficking by contracting qualified vendors- 3 times at 64 Districts.
  • Develop one Docu- Drama- screened at 64 Districts.
  • Develop interactive websites and mobile applications for information- sharing to supports children empowerment at 64 Districts.
  • Build capacity of stakeholders at 20 High Risk Districts.
  • ToT workshops held with ATSEC and NACG Members on child trafficking at Dhaka. The ToT based on the module prepared by ATSEC and SAIEVAC in collaboration with consortium members.
  • Capacity building workshops organized through the involvement of SAIEVAC and ATSEC members to strengthen community prevention systems through: LEB, Counter-trafficking committees, Child Welfare Committees and NGOs to 20 High Risk Districts.
  • Capacity building workshops organized through the involvement of SAIEVAC and ATSEC members with teachers and headmasters on child trafficking to 20 High Risk Districts.
  • Capacity building workshops organized through the involvement of ATSEC members with media personnel on child trafficking to 20 High Risk Districts.
  • Workshops organized through the involvement of SAIEVAC and ATSEC members to orient lawyers, PP and LEAs on child trafficking to 20 High Risk Districts.
  • Extend psychosocial capacity building training to GOs and NGOs at Dhaka and Chittagong.
  • Promote networking in the National level. The lead agency (INCIDIN Bangladesh) will coordinate and advocacy among network to facilitate capacity and cooperation for policy advocacy and service/referral networking- with the support of consortium partners and SAIEVAC.
  • Support ATSEC to hold Quarterly Meeting of ATSEC Board.
  • Support ATSEC to hold National Level Press Conference on policy –Dhaka.
  • Regional Conference on policy- legal advocacy held Dhaka. Participants are from Ministries, GOs, NGOs, ATSEC and NACG members, INGOs, UN agencies; NGO (ATSEC members) from India and Nepal.
  • Cross- Border Conference on policy-Dhaka. Organized by one PO (RJ) at Jessore by involving ATSEC and SAIEVAC.
  • Annual National Conference on policy, participants are from Ministries, GOs, NGOs, ATSEC and NACG members, INGOs, UN agencies.
  • A baseline on policy and mapping review of services – to identify gaps on existing policy legal framework, interventions and gaps to facilitate advocacy at national level.
  • Annual lessons learnt study and national to regional sharing
  • Project launching workshop Dhaka.
  • Expanded access of the child survivors of trafficking to psychosocial care National ATSEC and SAIEVAC /NACG members, NGOs.
  • Extend psychosocial counselors’ service to existing GO shelters at vulnerable Dhaka and Chittagong.
  • Expanded access of the child survivors to livelihood and integration support National ATSEC and SAIEVAC /NACG members, NGOs.
  • Develop an online service provider’s directory based on mapping of referral for National stakeholders.
  • Activate a referral network of ATSEC, NACG members and SAIEVAC and private sector actors National level. All the partner organizations will refer children to different services and maintain case records.
  • Bi-annual meeting of the Service Providers Collective to build connectivity, strategies, learn from each other and celebrate success.
  • Extend seed money to the trafficking survivors for livelihood activities and social integration at 20 districts.
  • Expanded access of the child survivors to legal support and justice.
  • Referral for service among ATSEC, NACG members and SAIEVAC for legal services.
  • Develop a child protection policy for the special tribunal on human trafficking.
  • Sensitize the special tribunal on human trafficking.
  • In-place civil society monitoring of the special tribunal on human trafficking.
  • Setting up a Project Secretariat with logistics at the lead agency HQs Dhaka.