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Human Trafficking from 
Bangladesh Drops Drastically

Anwar Ahmad / 28 December 2008

ABU DHABI - Incidents of human trafficking and children being employed as camel jockeys have dropped to low levels, according to figures from the Bangladesh mission here.

Embassy deputy head Shaid Bakheiyar Alam said more than 200 camel jockeys were repatriated between 2006-2007 while this year only 10 cases were registered.

The official attributed the drop in incidents to the efforts of the UAE government, Unicef and the mission here.

“In Bangladesh, we are monitoring the system of migration through the agents and individuas, and I also have recommended the Bangladesh government to strictly assess the existing system.

“Most of the traffickers use illegal means of entering the UAE. Some workers arrive through unregistered agents who indulge in unfair means,” Alam said.

Dr Anwar Gargah, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the UAE National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking said: “UAE’s participation here reflects on our commitment to fight trans-national human trafficking by linking it with international initiatives.”

Bangladeshi Ambassador to  the UAE, Nazmul Quaunine, told Khaleej Times, said steps have also been taken to protect the rights of women.

“In order to secure the rights of women, we have taken two initiatives right now. The Bangladesh consulate in Dubai and the embassy in Abu Dhabi have issued letters to recruiting agents in the UAE who are registered with us.

“They have to submit a monthly report about the cases of women they handle. For example, if they handle 10 cases, their details must be submitted to the mission,” Quaunine said.

“If we come to know of any recruitment agency being involved in exploiting women back in the country we will immediately cancel their licence. “

In Bangladesh, a recruitment agent has to deposit 500,0000 takas for registration with the government. So, in case of fraudulent activities, the agency will lose the money,” the envoy explained.

“Some ladies who come here do not inform us that they fall prey to the exploiters. Some traffickers ‘buy’ them from Bangladesh and bring them on visit or other forms of visas. So they do not get their visas processed by the missions. It results in big problems,” he added.



Efforts to combat the menace


Mostly children are lured with good life and quality education promises while for the women it is for brighter prospects.

The establishment of the National Committee for combating human trafficking in accordance with the federal law is a bright spot in the record of the UAE which is considered a forerunner in the field of human rights.

Abu Dhabi Police recently recommended the setting up of a special fund to support the activities of combating human trafficking and providing assistance and compensation for victims. Part of its funding will come from fines and the confiscated material of violators.

A study conducted by the Abu Dhabi police said as many as 10,000 human trafficking cases were registered in 2008 in the UAE, which include camel jockeys and women forced into prostitution.

The UAE returned more than 1,000 children employed as camel jockeys to their countries of origin in a co-ordinated effort with Unicef, and is also involved in programmes to rehabilitate them.



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