Human rights activists on Sunday demanded exemplary punishment for the godfathers of human trafficking as the criminals include different influential persons like lawmakers and recruiting agents.
Expressing frustration over impunity of the criminals, they said that ruling Awami League lawmaker from Cox’s Bazar 4 constituency Abdur Rahman Bodi and other big shots who were accused in human trafficking cases still remained on bail.
They raised their demands and made the remarks while speaking at a press conference marking the ‘World Day Against Trafficking in Persosn-2017’ at the National Press Club.
National Human Rights Commission and sixteen national and international organisations organised the press conference.
NHRC chairman Kazi Reazul Hoque, speaking as chief guest, said that the government should immediately find out the ‘real godfathers’ of human trafficking and arrest them to ensure exemplary punishment.
Refereeing to police report, he said that only 30 convicts have been given life imprisonment so far out of 3,500 human trafficking cases which remained pending.
‘Those who are behind Yaba business, human trafficking and arms smuggling should be brought under justice,’ he said.
The NHRC chairman mentioned that earning remittance could not be allowed in exchange of human rights violations and the state must ensure the rights of its citizens.
Through facilitating safe and low cost migration, the trafficking in persons should be reduced, he observed.
Bangladesh National Women Lawyers’ Association executive director Advocate Salma Ali said that the traffickers were influential persons including some lawmakers, recruiting and travel agents who are able to get bail from court and the victims were weak and they failed to get justice.
‘How did Cox’s Bazar MP get bail on human trafficking cases,’ she questioned.
Trafficking in persons has been increasing day by day, she said, adding that although few days ago 10 trafficked girls were repatriated to the country from India, now the number has increased to 100.
Due to impunity of the offence, those girls were being trafficked through airports and across borders, she said.
BRAC migration head Shariful Hasan moderating the session said that about 3,500 cases have so far been lodged after the country got the Trafficking Deterrence and Suppression Act in 2012.
Trafficking survivor Al Amin Noyon and Reshma Akter shared the bad experience of human trafficking.
The organizers observed the World Day against Trafficking in Persons arranging separate discussions on anti trafficking laws at Dhaka University campus and police staff college.