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Crackdown on human traffickers

Only 233 cases disposed of in 8 yrs

Published : 10 Jun 2020 09:35 PM | Updated : 05 Sep 2020 08:46 PM

Over the past eight years, 6,134 human trafficking cases have been filed across the country, but only 233 have been disposed of while only 54 people were convicted.

According to migration researchers, incidents of human trafficking took place in the Cox’s Bazar district on a large scale with 642 cases recorded in the district alone. Not a single case was disposed of in the last eight years.

Several hundred persons were made accused in these cases. But due the weak charge sheets and failures to bring witnesses, most of the accused were acquitted. Though the cases are non-bailable, most of the accused in the human trafficking cases got bail in the high court.

After getting bail, these accused are now ‘untouched’ by the law enforcers due to their strong lobbying during the investigation period.
Seven special tribunals in seven divisions were formed on March 9 this year for speedy trial of human traffickers after eight years of the enactment of the law.
Judges were also appointed for the cases. But due to the epidemic coronavirus, the judges could not start their courts at all.

Advocate Abdullah Abu, Special Prosecutor of the Dhaka Metropolitan Court said due to the absence of the witnesses, the trial process is often delayed.
Police also should submit charge sheets as soon as possible. However, police often fail to submit the charge sheets on time, he claimed.

Former law minister, Barrister Shafiq Ahmed said, human trafficking cases are very serious cases. The court, prosecution and the investigating agencies should remain careful so that no criminals are acquitted using the weakness of the judiciary systems.

If we ensure these, the incidents of human trafficking will be reduced significantly, he added.
National Human Rights Commission Chairman Nasima Begum said human trafficking is completely a violation of human rights.
If justice is not ensured, the criminals become stronger, she added.

Last week, government high ups instructed law enforcers to launch a crackdown on human traffickers after the killing of 26 Bangladeshi migrant workers in Libya.

On getting the instructions, Inspector General of Police, Benazir Ahmed ordered the Rapid Action Battalion, Dhaka Metropolitan Police, Criminal Investigation Department, Police Bureau of Investigation and other operational units to conduct drives to arrest the accused.
Now all law enforcers are conducting special operations against human traffickers.