News/Bangladesh: Nearly 25,000 Bangladeshis trafficked a

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Subject: News/Bangladesh: Nearly 25,000 Bangladeshis trafficked a
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Wed Nov 24 1999 - 11:51:46 EST


           Nearly 25,000 Bangladeshis trafficked a year-study

RTw 11-23-99 1:47 PM

    DHAKA, Nov 23 (Reuters) - Nearly 25,000 Bangladeshi women and children
are illegally trafficked into neighbouring countries and the Middle East
every year, according to a Bangladesh National Women Lawyers Association
survey released on Tuesday.
     "Human traffickers have lured the women and children to migrate to
another country on false promises of employment," association chief Salma
Ali told reporters while releasing the survey.
     She said poverty and lack of education were mainly responsible for
women stepping into traps laid by the traffickers.
     "Poverty is the most influential factor. Ninety percent of women
victims are illiterate and only five percent have primary education," she
said.
     Ali said the survey conducted recently in 10 villages found that 33
out of 51 victims were still missing. Others returned home on their own or
with help from various human rights and voluntary organisations in
Bangladesh and other countries.
     "Our estimate is at about 25,000 women and children are trafficked out
of the country every year and many of them remain missing for ever," Ali
said
     Her association rescued 400 women and children from India, Pakistan
and Middle East countries over the last few year, she said.
     "Lack of enforcement of proper prosecution, use of children as
commodities, powerlessness and vulnerability of women, corruption and
bribery at all levels from border police to (officials in the) passport
office are the main causes of trafficking of women and children," she said.
     Police said most of the trafficked women end up in brothels while the
children are used in crimes and for cheap labour.

Melanie Orhant

morhant@igc.org
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