Rights activists and family members of trafficking victims on Saturday urged the government to take initiatives to rescue all Bangladeshis from the sea and give necessary assistance to the stranded people abroad.
They also blamed the administration and law enforcers for their failure to tackle human trafficking issues efficiently.
The rights activists made the comments at a press conference on ‘Human Rights Violation of trafficked victim Bangladeshis and Rohingyas’. Nineteen rights organisations, including Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK), Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies (BILS), Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU) and WARBE Development Foundation organised the press conference at the city’s National Press Club.
Harun Or Rashid, regional coordinator, CARAM Asia, said the government has failed to address human smuggling issues.
Human trafficking has been continuing for a long time, he said, adding that there are many mass graves of migrants in Thailand and Malaysia.
He also criticised the statement for putting the blame on jobseekers. “The statement, issued by the leadership of Bangladesh, is not correct as there are big reasons behind illegal migration.”
Lily Jahan, chairman of Bangladesh Ovibashi Mohila Sramik Association (BOMSA), said the government uses remittances, but it does not take responsibility for the migrant workers.
She also urged the rights activists to wage a tough movement against the government for its irregularities.
Omar Faruque, executive director of Ovibashi Karmi Unnayan Programme (OKUP), said although there are disciplined forces in the country, people are being smuggled regularly through border areas.
He demanded that the government take realistic measures to check human trafficking.
WARBE Development Foundation chairman Saiful Islam said due rights of all the stranded people will have to be ensured and all the floating people will have to be rescued from the sea.
Jasiya Khatoon, director of WARBE, presented a keynote paper at the programme moderated by Wajedul Islam Khan, secretary general of Trade Union Centre (TUC).