World Day against Trafficking in Persons: Three New Projects launched in South Asia

Rallies, cultural- and interaction programs with police, media and human rights activists in Bangladesh, India and Nepal sensitized about an alarming increase of trafficking in persons. In July 2015 AWO International started 3 new long term projects to mitigate human trafficking and to support survivors of human trafficking in context of socio-economic re-integration. AWO International currently addresses unsafe migration and human trafficking in South Asia in 8 development projects.

On the occasion of the second World Day against Trafficking in Persons on 30th July 2015 the Indian partner organization MSS Seva organized an orientation workshop with members of the Anti-Trafficking Unit (ATU) of the Indian border police to highlight the issue of trafficking in the project areas as well as at the Nepal-India border after the earthquake.

The Nepali partner organization MAITI Nepal organized a cultural program and a rally that was also attended by the Deputy Prime-minister of Nepal. Own data of MAITI Nepal show that interceptions of Nepali potential trafficking victims (women and girls) at the Nepal-Indian borders have gone up from 615 cases before the earthquake (1st January 2015-25th April 2016) to 745 cases in the same time period after the earthquake (26th April - 15th August 2015). The organization incepts potential victims in coordination with the police and provides safe space in own transit homes close the border. The new development project between AWO International and MAITI Nepal will be implemented in Chinese and Indian border regions of Chitwan and Sindhupalchowk districts in Nepal.

AWO International’s new partner NEEDS Nepal is preparing for the National Anti-Human Trafficking Day 2015 in Nepal that will be celebrated, on 6th September 2015, under the motto “Present Scenario in Human trafficking at District and National Level and Role of Civil Society towards Prevention”. NEEDS highlights the huge numbers of missing numbers of Nepali migrants to India in Far Western Nepal. The new development project between AWO International and NEEDS Nepal will be implemented in the Nepali migration prone district of Doti and in the transit district Kanchanpur bordering India.

In Bangladesh a new cooperation project was initiated with the reputed human rights organization RIGHTS JESSORE in Eastern Bangladesh. On 30th July 2015 the organization initiated a rally from the District Commissioners Office through the city center and the red light zone to sensitize about the issue. During a function with human rights activists and media anti-trafficking hotlines were launched in three districts. In her speech the Additional District Commissioner of Jessore highlighted the relevance of awareness in the villages close to the Indian boarder as these are trafficking prone areas. The present Additional Superintendent of Police shared his mobile number with human rights activists and organizations and invited them to call him personally if they have any hints about traffickers.

The cooperation project with Rights Jessore will strengthen 5 Counter Trafficking Committees (CTC) at Union-level and build-up 15 Community Vigilance Groups (CVG) in the Bangladeshi border area to India. The CTCs are government structures to fight trafficking and consist of members of the police, local administration, political parties and civil society. They will mainly get active in rescue operations for potential victims and survivors of human trafficking. The CVGs act on village level and will create awareness through street drama, household visits and campaigns and support the social re-integration of trafficking survivors. These local stakeholder platforms consist of members of local CBOs and Youth Clubs, teachers, returnee migrants, traditional authorities such as one local doctor and Imam.

As per Rights Jessore alone in Bangladesh 6545 cases of Human Trafficking were registered in the time period July 2014 - June 2015. It is estimated that the real number is much higher. Till date our partner organization Rights Jessore repatriated 663 survivors of human trafficking from India to Bangladesh.

As per the Trafficking in Person (TIP) Report of the U.S. Department of State, published in July 2015, Bangladesh, India and Nepal are high risk areas for Human Trafficking. Please click here to access the newest TIP-Report online

Awareness rally through Jessore

Inauguration of world anti human trafficking event in front of DC office at Jessore

Press conference at Rights Jessore

Additional District Commissioner of Jessore highlight importance of joint fight against trafficking

Additional Superintended of Police hands over SIM for anti-trafficking hotline

Human rights activists gathered in Jessore

Interaction program in new project area at Bangladesh-India border

Chairman of Nepa Union saves number of new anti-trafficking

Rights Jessore supports anti- trafficking awareness in schools

Joint program between MSS Seva and anti-trafficking unit of Indian border police