Bangladesh: GLO.ACT delves deeper into the trends and patterns surrounding trafficking in persons with the commencement of a national study

Dhaka, Bangladesh/December 2020: UNODC, under the framework of the Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants–Bangladesh (GLO.ACT-Bangladesh), is currently conducting a national study on Trafficking in Persons (TIP) based on a request from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. The study is a joint initiative by GLO.ACT-Bangladesh and MoHA.

The purpose of the national study is to create the basis for a recurrent reporting system on human trafficking in Bangladesh, and to provide an overview and analysis of the main national and regional TIP trends.

09 November 2020, UNODC and the MoHA organized the first meeting of the Advisory Group to agree on the group’s terms of reference, including allocating responsibilities and establishing a coordination mechanism. The 21 participants (7 female/14 male) also took the time to review the implementation plan for the study. The meeting served as a platform to seek direct support from the members of the Advisory Group on data collection, to promote ownership of the process and ensure the validation of results emerging from the research.  Participants provided inputs on topics of special concern to be covered in the national study, including on child labour, trafficking along migration routes and the role of contextual factors.

In addition to a standardized questionnaire to gather national data on trafficking victims, forms of exploitation and perpetrators and convictions, that has been already shared with the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs and the MoHA in Bangladesh, the GLO.ACT team will commence the process of collecting qualitative data, by conducting interviews with law enforcement and national experts. These two data research exercises will be closely coordinated with the relevant national authorities.

Going forward, UNODC will maintain the role of co-facilitator together with MoHA as secretariat of the Advisory Group. A key aspect role of the secretariat will be to communicate the progress of the research, which includes presenting methodologies, workplans and research findings for the consideration of the Advisory Group. Future meetings of the Advisory Group will take place once the data collection stage is completed.

The Advisory Group includes representatives from 11 ministries and governmental departments namely: Ministry of Foreign Affairs (UN Wing); Ministry of Home Affairs (Public Security Division); Ministry of Finance (Economic Relations Division); Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs (Law and Justice Division); Ministry of Expatriates, Welfare and Overseas Employment; Ministry of Social Welfare; Ministry of Labour and Employment; Ministry of Women and Children Affairs; Bangladesh Police Head Quarters; Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics; Department of Immigration and Passports; and, Office of the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner.

The Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants - Bangladesh (GLO.ACT - Bangladesh) is a joint initiative by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) being implemented in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM). GLO.ACT-Bangladesh builds on a global community of practice set in motion in GLO.ACT 2015-2019 in 13 partner countries across Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America. 

Through targeted, innovative and demand-driven interventions, the GLO.ACT aims to support the Government of Bangladesh and civil society organizations to more effectively fight the crimes of human trafficking and migrant smuggling across the country. The project works on developing evidence-based information on trafficking and smuggling patterns and trends, legislative review and harmonization, capability development of criminal justice actors, and international cooperation. The project also provides direct assistance to victims of human trafficking and migrants in vulnerable situations through the strengthening of identification, referral, and protection mechanisms.

The project is funded by the European Union