Dhaka, Jun 18 (FN Bureau) About 20,000 women trafficked to India have been repatriated through the legal process in the last ten years, as per the official figure. However, there is no solid information on the number of women and children trafficked and those who are still trapped in the country. The National Women Lawyers Association and Rights Jessore, two non-governmental organizations working to bring trafficked women back to India, said yesterday there were still more than 50 women in government and private safehouses in the country after they were detained by the country’s police. Efforts are being made to bring them back with the help of the governments of Bangladesh and India.
UNI’s analysis of 250 cases of trafficking in women from Bangladesh to India shows that 90 per cent of the victims are from low-income families. And 95 per cent were taken to India out of greed for a good job. They were later sold to human trafficking rings. Most of these women are forced into sex work. Of the 250 cases analyzed, 154 were aged. Of these, 61 are adolescents, 48 are between 19 and 25 years of age and 31 are between 28 and 35 years of age. The other 4 are older than that. The issue of trafficking in women has come to the fore again after a video of a Bangladeshi girl being brutally tortured went viral in India late last month. Indian police arrested six people in the incident, including Rifadul Islam alias Tiktak Hridoy, a resident of Dhaka’s Maghbazar. Meanwhile, after the incident, police and RAB arrested 12 people from two gangs on charges of being involved in trafficking in women. Police and RAB have claimed that these two gangs alone have trafficked about 2,000 women to India in five years.
How many people are trafficked from Bangladesh, how many cases — all this information is no longer published on the website of the police headquarters. However, a statistic is available from the immigration program of the private organization BRAC. Citing the police headquarters, they said that from 2008 to March 2021, there were 6,735 cases of trafficking in the country and abroad. According to BRAC, the number of victims in the cases has been mentioned as 12,324. The number includes women, men and children. Among the victims, 9,710 were rescued and repatriated. India and Middle Eastern countries have more human trafficking cases than Bangladesh. Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan told UNI that police were conducting house-to-house raids on those involved in trafficking in women in India. Several gangs have already been caught by the RAB-police. He said the process of repatriating those still detained in India was underway.
Of the 2,000 women repatriated from India, about 1,600 have been repatriated by the National Association of Women Lawyers. And Rights Jessore has helped 400 people. The number of women brought back in the last few years was comparatively low. For example, In 2020, 69 people were able to return with the help of two organizations. The previous year’s number was 176. The people involved in this work said that this activity has lost momentum during the Corona period. According to the National Association of Women Lawyers and Jessore Rights, most of the trafficked women are from the south-western districts of the country. Binoy Krishna Mallick, executive director of Rights Jessore, said girls from low-income families were taken to India to work. Almost all of the victimized women are poorly educated. In the 250 incidents analyzed by UNI, it is seen that most of the victims are from Jessore (36), Narail (25), Satkhira (23) and Khulna (26). Dipti Rani a senior repatriation officer at the National Women Lawyers Association, visited the office of the National Women Lawyers Association on June 8 to collect information and spoke to a 16-year-old Bangladeshi girl in a safe home in India on her mobile phone. This teenager’s home is in Khulna. His mother died in infancy. Dad remarried. He had to be tortured in various ways in the family.
The girl said that three years ago, a man named Nasir from her village brought her to Jessore to work as a housemaid. But Nasir trafficked him to India through Benapole. She was locked in a hotel in Mumbai, India and forced to work as a sex worker. Mumbai police rescued him a year ago. Salma Ali, president of the National Association of Women Lawyers, told UNI that those rescued by police after being trafficked to India had to stay in a safe home for one to two years. At this time the legal process goes on. The retrieval process needs to be easier. According to the victims, their family members and the concerned officials of the non-governmental organizations working on human trafficking, women and children were trafficked through 18 districts of the country.