Amend existing anti-trafficking act

Yesterday, different recruiting agencies demanded that no cases be filed against them under the Prevention and Suppression of Human Trafficking Act 2012 They claim they send workers abroad in compliance with government regulations.

They claimed that law enforcement agencies "harassed" them by filing cases against them and arresting them under anti-trafficking acts, even though they have the permission of the expatriates’ welfare ministry, Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training, and any relevant Bangladesh missions when sending workers abroad.

They formed a human chain with the banner "In protest at harassment of recruiting agency owner under anti-humantrafficking law" and marched in front of the Expatriates Welfare Ministry in Eskaton. They claimed that many had been facing unjust trafficking accusations and jail time.

Protestors demanded that the government make necessary changes to the Prevention and Suppression of Human Trafficking Act-2012 in order to solve their problems.

They threatened to launch more agitation programmes if the government fails to fulfill their demands.

They also announced that a new demonstration would be held in front Jatiya Press Club on Sunday.

The "victims" of human trafficking and regular recruit agency owners organized the human chain.

M Tipu Sultan (president of Oikya Parishad's Recruiting Agency Oikya Parishad) addressed the human chain and said: "We want those involved with human trafficking to be punished according to existing law."

"Recruiting agencies send workers overseas with BMET clearance, attestation from Bangladesh missions abroad and approval by the expatriates’ welfare ministry. He said that our activities could not be considered "human trafficking".

Jannat Overseas owner Lima Begum stated that because recruiting agencies send workers overseas with proper immigration clearance, they shouldn't be held responsible under the anti-trafficking law.

She demanded the government amend the anti-trafficking law.

Al-Nahin Manpower Services Ltd's managing director, Mostafizur Rahman, claimed he was a victim of the anti-humantrafficking act.

He demanded that law enforcement agencies investigate trafficking allegations against employees and owners of recruiting agencies before arresting them.

Tipu stated that the protestors also plan to submit a memorandum on that day to the home ministry in order to make their demands clear.


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