Bangladesh: UNODC strengthens multi-stakeholder responses to counter Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants with capacity building and knowledge sharing

Dhaka and Manikganj, Bangladesh/19 October 2023: The 2022 UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons found that people of all genders and age groups especially women are at risk of cross-border trafficking. To address border management responding to trafficking in persons (TIP) and smuggling of migrants (SOM), dedicated research and analysis are required to ensure interventions are aligned with the national laws and Government priorities.

The First National Study on Trafficking in Persons in Bangladesh recommended implementing crime prevention measures to identify risk factors of TIP and SOM which includes cross-border response. For this, it is also imperative to strengthen multi-stakeholder responses centred on awareness, knowledge sharing and capacity building.

In this context, UNODC under the framework of the Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants-Bangladesh (GLO.ACT-Bangladesh) organized a workshop on the scope of assessment on border management to address TIP and SOM—with the participation of 39 officials from key ministries, police, border agencies and UN agencies.

The workshop was opened by Ms. Ishita Rony, Deputy Secretary of the Public Security Division of Ministry of Home Affairs and Deputy Project Director of GLO.ACT-Bangladesh. Providing an overview of the initiatives of the Government of Bangladesh, she said, “A strong border management strategy serves as the first line of defense in preventing these crimes by identifying and intercepting potential victims and perpetrators.”

In extensive group discussions, participants exchanged information and experiences in border management to address TIP and SOM, examining existing institutional and legal frameworks and capacity-building needs.

The responses gathered from the workshop will serve as the basis for an assessment report on border management to address TIP and SOM in Bangladesh.

To build youth capacities with awareness and sensitization, UNODC collaborated with 22nd Human Rights Summer School (HRSS) organized by Empowerment through Law of Common People (ELCOP) in Manikganj. Over 60 law students and facilitators from Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Australia, South Africa and Iran were trained and sensitized on human rights and human security, with focus on TIP and SOM.

Mr. Mahdy Hassan, National Programme Coordinator of GLO.ACT-Bangladesh introduced the concept of transnational organized crime, emphasizing on the structure and significance of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organize Crime. The participants engaged actively with an open discussion and exercise, to understand the interlinkages of TIP and SOM with human security.

In the feedback questionnaire, one of the participants wrote, “Before this, I had a limited idea on TIP and SOM. Now that I know about the vulnerabilities of trafficking victims and smuggled migrants, I will be more sympathetic towards them.”

The activity contributed to SDG 4, SDG 8, SDG 13, SDG 16 and SDG 17: 

(Supported by the European Union)