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Street Children

Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

Poverty drives the unsuspecting poor into the hands of traffickers

Published reports & articles from 2000 to 2025                   

People’s Republic of Bangladesh

Bangladesh remains a poor, overpopulated, and inefficiently-governed nation. Although more than half of GDP is generated through the service sector, nearly two-thirds of Bangladeshis are employed in the agriculture sector, with rice as the single-most-important product. Garment exports and remittances from Bangladeshis working overseas, mainly in the Middle East and East Asia, fuel economic growth.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: Bangladesh

Bangladesh is a source and transit country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. A significant share of Bangladesh’s trafficking victims are men recruited for work overseas with fraudulent employment offers who are subsequently exploited under conditions of forced labor or debt bondage. Children – both boys and girls – are trafficked within Bangladesh for commercial sexual exploitation, bonded labor, and forced labor. Some children are sold into bondage by their parents, while others are induced into labor or commercial sexual exploitation through fraud and physical coercion. Women and children from Bangladesh are also trafficked to India and Pakistan for sexual exploitation.   - U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June, 2009   Check out a later country report here or a full TIP Report here



CAUTION: The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Bangladesh.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to verify their authenticity or to validate their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of Human Trafficking are of particular interest to you.  Would you like to write about Forced-Labor?  Debt Bondage? Prostitution? Forced Begging? Child Soldiers? Sale of Organs? etc.  On the other hand, you might choose to include possible precursors of trafficking such as poverty. There is a lot to the subject of Trafficking.  Scan other countries as well.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.


Human Trafficking Becomes Attractive, 11 February 2005 – Source:

 [accessed 21 January 2011]

They said tens of thousands of women and children are trafficked out each year from Bangladesh, one of the poorest countries in the world. Poverty provides traffickers with people who have no alternatives for survival. They trust the offers of work or marriage abroad, which promise security but lead them to slavery.

Inside the slave trade

Johann Hari, The Independent, 15 March 2008

[accessed 21 January 2011]

They are promised a better life. But every year, countless boys and girls in Bangladesh are spirited away to brothels where they have to prostitute themselves with no hope of freedom.  This is the story of the 21st century’s trade in slave-children. My journey into their underworld took place where its alleys and brothels are most dense - Asia, where the United Nations calculates 1 million children are being traded every day. It took me to places I did not think existed, today, now. To a dungeon in the lawless Bangladeshi borderlands where children are padlocked and prison-barred in transit to Indian brothels; to an iron whore-house where grown women have spent their entire lives being raped; to a clinic that treat syphilitic 11-year-olds.

She comes into the room swaddled in a red sari, carrying big premature black bags under her eyes. She tells her story in a slow, halting mumble. Sufia grew up in a village near Khulna in the south-west of Bangladesh. Her parents were farmers; she was one of eight children. “My parents couldn’t afford to look after me,” she says. “We didn’t have enough money for food.”  And so came the lie. When Sufia was 14, a female neighbour came to her parents and said she could find her a good job in Calcutta as a housemaid. She would live well; she would learn English; she would have a well-fed future. “I was so excited,” Sufia says.  “But as soon as we arrived in Calcutta I knew something was wrong,” she says. “I didn’t know what a brothel was, but I could see the house she took me to was a bad house, where the women wore small clothes and lots of bad men were coming in and out.” The neighbour was handed 50,000 takka – around £500 – for Sufia, and then she told her to do what she was told and disappeared. - htcp

Choosing Death by Fire Over Marriage - Forced Marriages Are Driving Some Women to Self-Immolation

Leela Jacinto, ABC News, Dec. 11

[accessed 21 January 2011]

The abduction came as a complete surprise to Miah, a London-based community youth activist who had been dating Shipa for several years.  Shipa's family had earlier accepted a marriage proposal put forth in the "correct way" by Miah's family, and the young Briton was unaware that her parents had no intention of actually allowing their daughter to marry a man of her choice.

On the morning of Oct. 12, 1995, Shipa was whisked to a cousin's place near Heathrow Airport, then flown to Bangladesh. She was not informed about her family's plans for her future until just a few hours before boarding the plane.


*** ARCHIVES ***

Interpol wants 6 Bangladeshi human traffickers

Muntakim Saad, Daily Star, 27 November 2020

[accessed 27 November 2020]

Interpol put six human traffickers of Bangladesh in their "wanted-list", on charges of deceiving jobseekers and "wrongfully confining and killing" people over ransom demands.

The step came up following the killing of 26 Bangladeshi migrant workers in a Libyan desert town Mezda in May this year.

Talking to Reuters, earlier, Syeda Zannat Ara, special superintendent of the CID, said these are the traffickers who trick people from Bangladesh by taking money from them with promises of jobs abroad. They then keep them hostage in Libya and torture them for more money.

On May 28, some traffickers killed 30 migrant workers, including 26 Bangladeshi nationals. The killing took place at a smuggling warehouse in Mezda, near the city of Gharyan, southwest of Libya's Tripoli. Twelve more Bangladeshis were also injured in the attack, nine of whom were repatriated.

Stolen lives: The harrowing story of two girls sold into sexual slavery

Yudhijit Bhattacharjee, National Geographic Magazine, 28 September 2020

[accessed 30 September 2020]

The day Sayeda left home, the boy she eloped with took her by bus from Khulna to a town near the Indian border. Arriving at night, they walked through a forest until they got to a riverbank. Sayeda noticed others on the same path, including young girls, but didn’t think much of it. At the river’s edge, the boyfriend bribed a policeman, and the two climbed into a boat that dropped them on the other side. They were in India.

The boy took her to a house close to the river, where they stayed for a few nights. There, Sayeda met another girl who also had been brought over from Bangladesh, and she became suspicious. Sayeda confronted her boyfriend, and he told her she was going to work in a brothel. When she refused, he said, “I’ll kill you and dump you in the river.”

Even if she could have escaped, Sayeda didn’t know whom she could have turned to for help. She had entered India illegally, and she didn’t see how she could go to the police. “I got so scared that I said OK,” she said.

Bangladesh arrests human traffickers after migrants’ murder in Libya

Vatican News

[accessed 23 June 2020]

THE CARNAGE -- The group of 42 migrants, including 38 Bangladeshis, was held captive in a trafficking warehouse in Mizdah, around 180 kilometres from the Libyan capital Tripoli, the Bangladesh Embassy in Libya said, quoting one of the survivors of the carnage.

The survivor said that they had paid between $8,000 and $10,000 to the traffickers to reach Europe through Libya.  However, as the trafficking gang began torturing them to extort more money, the hostages attacked and killed one of the traffickers.  In retaliation, the gang opened fire on them killing 30 and injuring 12.

BANGLADESH DEPENDS HEAVILY ON REMITTANCES -- Bangladesh is one of the world's largest exporters of labour and depends heavily on money sent home by its overseas workers. More than 10 million migrants sent $18.32 billion to Bangladesh in 2019, the third highest recipient of remittance in South Asia.

According to the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET), in 2019 alone, over 700,000 migrant workers left the country in search of employment abroad and over 73 percent of remittances were sent from the 7 Gulf Cooperation Council countries alone.

EXPLOITATION BY BROKERS -- However, unlicensed brokers are known to charge workers thousands of dollars with promises of good jobs abroad that don't exist. Campaigners say that the country's dependency on unofficial brokers for recruitment opens the path to exploitation.

Bangladesh’s Child Marriage Problem Is the World’s Human Trafficking Crisis

Corinne Redfern,, 8 November 2019

[accessed 9 November 2019]

First Papiya was forced into marriage at 12 years old. Then she was trafficked into sexual slavery.

Approximately 52 percent of girls in Bangladesh are lost in the chasm between child marriage prevention and trafficking rehabilitation: coerced into marriage as children and left without the support they need to protect themselves and safely break out.

Papiya was still trapped in a brothel in the village of Kandipara when I first met her in March 2017. She told me how she fled her in-laws’ house barefoot in the middle of the night, leaving her sandals by the door so that slap of their soles on the stairs didn’t wake her 22-year-old husband. As the sun rose, she spotted a rickshaw driver sleeping by the side of the road and begged him for help. He agreed with a smile, she remembered. Then he drove Papiya to a brothel and sold her for more money than he’d usually make in a month.

Bangladesh asks Brunei to deport suspects in human trafficking ring

Malay Mail, 5 October 2019

[accessed 12 October 2019]

Bangladesh's top diplomat in Brunei said he had received repeated complaints from workers who had paid thousands of US dollars to be taken to the wealthy South-east Asian nation on the promise of jobs that never materialised.   “They keep bringing more people even though there are no jobs,” Bangladesh's High Commissioner to Brunei Mahmud Hussain told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Bangladeshis were being charged about US$4,000 by agents who either failed to get them any work at all or made them work for very low pay, Hussain said.  Hannan Sikdar, 22, sold his family's land to raise the US$3,500 that he paid a broker in Bangladesh for a job in Brunei.   “I was told that I would earn so much that I would be able to send 25,000 takas ($300) back home every month,” Sikdar said from Brunei by phone.   After reaching Brunei, Sikdar went to work for a week, then was told not to come again. The agent told him he would have to find a new job himself and threatened to have him deported unless he handed over a portion of his monthly salary.

Human Trafficking Takes Centre Stage in Bangladesh

International Organization for Migration IOM, 24 May 2019

[accessed 24 May 2019]

Cox’s Bazar – Bangladesh is boosting efforts to combat human trafficking with a 2018-2022 national plan of action to improve enforcement through better inter-agency coordination, improved training of officers and harmonization of existing laws.

The plan, developed with technical support from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), was presented to local officials and counter trafficking specialists at a conference in Cox’s Bazar this week. It follows legislation passed in 2012 to counter human trafficking in this South Asian country of 160 million.  

Limited socio-economic opportunities drive thousands of Bangladeshis to look for opportunities abroad. But many are believed to fall into the hands of human trafficking networks, ending up in forced labour or other exploitative situations abroad. Trafficking in persons also occurs internally within Bangladesh.

2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Bangladesh

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 30 March 2021

[accessed 11 May 2021]


Some individuals recruited to work overseas with fraudulent employment offers subsequently were exploited abroad under conditions of forced labor or debt bondage. Many migrant workers assumed debt to pay high recruitment fees imposed legally by recruitment agencies belonging to the Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies, and illegally by unlicensed subagents.

Children and adults were also forced into domestic servitude and bonded labor that involved restricted movement, nonpayment of wages, threats, and physical or sexual abuse (see section 7.c.).

Traffickers exploited workers in forced labor through debt-based coercion and bonded labor in the shrimp and fish processing industries, aluminum and garment factories, brick kilns, dry fish production, and shipbreaking. NGOs reported officials permit traffickers to recruit and operate at India-Bangladesh border crossings and maritime embarkation points.

The over 860,000 undocumented Rohingya men, women, and children in refugee camps, who do not have access to formal schooling or work, are vulnerable to forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation, particularly by local criminal networks. International organizations report that officials take bribes from traffickers to access refugee camps.


The Labor and Employment Ministry’s enforcement mechanisms were insufficient for the large, urban informal sector, and authorities rarely enforced child labor laws outside the export-garment and shrimp-processing sectors.

Agriculture and other informal sectors that had no government oversight employed large numbers of children. The government found children working eight to 10 hours per day in restaurants, engineering workshops, local transportation, and domestic work. The government also reported underage children are found in almost all sectors except the export-oriented ready-made garment (RMG) and shrimp sectors.

Children engaged in the worst forms of child labor in the production of bidis (hand-rolled cigarettes), footwear, furniture and steel, glass, matches, poultry, salt, shrimp, soap, textiles, and jute, including forced child labor in the production of dried fish and bricks. Children also performed dangerous tasks in the production of garments and leather goods bound for the local market, where the Bangladesh Labor Foundation reported 58 percent of workers are under 18, and 18 percent are under the age of 15.

Freedom House Country Report

2020 Edition

[accessed 23 April 2020]


Bangladesh remains both a major supplier of and transit point for trafficking victims, with tens of thousands of people trafficked each year. Women and children are trafficked both overseas and within the country for the purposes of domestic servitude and sexual exploitation, while men are trafficked primarily for labor abroad. A comprehensive 2013 antitrafficking law provides protection to victims and increased penalties for traffickers, but enforcement remains inadequate.

2017 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking, Bureau of International Labor Affairs, US Dept of Labor, 2018

[accessed 15 April 2019]

[accessed 23 April 2020]

Note:: Also check out this country’s report in the more recent edition DOL Worst Forms of Child Labor

[page 138]

Many children in Bangladesh engage in dangerous work in the informal manufacturing sector. (3; 4; 5; 6) Children working in informal garment production work as many as 16 hours a day and often carry heavy loads, use hazardous machinery, and handle chemicals without protective equipment. (7; 33) Children employed in tanneries similarly lack protective equipment and experience continuous exposure to heavy metals, formaldehyde, and other hazardous chemicals. (4; 5) In addition, some children in Bangladesh work under forced labor conditions in the dried fish sector and in the production of bricks to help pay off family debts to local moneylenders. (1; 2).

Bangladeshi trafficking victim rescued in India, 2 held

The Daily Star, 29 August 2015

[accessed 30 Aug 2015]

Indian police claimed to have rescued a Bangladeshi teenage girl from human traffickers in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal last week.

According to the victim, she set out with a woman to visit a relative’s house. But the lady took her at Bashihat Mahkuma Baduria border area and handed her over to Saju.

When Saju was handing her over to Mollah in Bortghat area, the girl threw a tantrum. Local police reached the spot immediately, rescued the girl and arrested the duo.

Iranian islands a torture ground for duped migrants

Mohammad Jamil Khan, Dhaka Tribune, 4 April 2015

[accessed 13 April 2015]

[accessed 20 January 2018]

When hard-working Bangladeshi migrants arrive in the UAE looking for jobs, they are steered by dreams of turning their own lives around, while they seize every opportunity before them to earn a little extra for their loved ones back home.

But that leaves them vulnerable to exploitation by unscrupulous opportunity seekers.

An Iran-based gang of human traffickers lure the Bangladeshi men with promises of better jobs in European countries – mostly in Turkey, Greece and Italy; but as soon as they are smuggled out of the  United Arab Emirates, the workers are held captive in islands near the Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas.

Hideouts on the islands – located in the 39km stretch of the Strait of Hormuz – are used to torture the Bangladeshi expatriates, while their families back home are contacted to demand ransom. Many of the hostages are unable to survive the torture, and die there at the hands of their captors.

Prostitution and forced labour: trafficking in human beings in Bangladesh

Sumon Corraya, Asia News, Dhaka, 26 February 2015

[accessed 26 February 2015]

In Bangladesh, human trafficking feeds humans to the sex trade and forced labour market. According to the Centre for Women and Child Studies, boys who fall into them tend to be under ten; girls tend to be between 11 and 16. However, it is not uncommon for children under eight years of age to become sex slaves, segregated in brothels or bawdyhouses.

Adult and teenaged Bangladeshis end up in the sex trade or forced into slave-like conditions like begging. In some cases, extremely poor parents sell their children. In other cases, traffickers trick them or force them into giving up their children.

Many brothel owners or pimps force teenagers to take steroids to make them more "attractive" for customers. Side effects are devastating on their bodies, and can even cause death. According to official data, 90 per cent of the women are aged between 15 and 35 and take steroids, which cause dependency that is hard to break.

Tortured maid tells of two and half years' ordeal

Aminul Islam, The Daily Star, Mymensingh, 10 May 2014

[accessed 12 May 2014]

[accessed 17 January 2016]

[accessed 20 January 2018]

The horrific tale of her life came to light after some locals rescued her in the early hours of Wednesday from Phulbaria Old Bus Stand area, where she was left by her employers by a private car.

“Jesse used to tell me that she had bought me as a slave at Tk 40,000 from Monira and Joyati, and therefore, I have to work for free,” Bedena said.   The couple used to torture her by spraying hot water on her body, stabbing her with hot kitchen knives, and beating her up with sticks and rolling pins, alleged Bedena.   Jesse as usual tortured her Tuesday morning on the pretext that Bedena could not prepare breakfast in time, leaving her unconscious.    She discovered herself in the bathroom after regaining her consciousness.

Horrifying torture

The Daily Star, 20 April 2014

[accessed 25 August 2014]

[accessed 20 January 2018]

In the face of acute poverty, his father, a farmer, sent him at this early age to the capital to work as a domestic help, said Mohammad Sadek Ali, a cousin of the boy. Another cousin Yasmin brought him along from Kishoreganj to Dhaka city around two and a half months ago and arranged a job for him at a house in Mohammadpur near Shia Mosque.

"The people at the house where I worked fed me once a day. I was given some rice in the morning and that was it," Masum told The Daily Star at DMCH yesterday.

Masum's diminutive body is scarred all over. Deep purple welts were seen on his back that is already crisscrossed by old scars.  He said he had been hit on the head with a rod and that the scars were from the injuries when the homemaker had flogged him with a bundle of wires.  A black blister was seen on his left elbow. "She burnt me here with a hot iron spoon," Masum said.  His cousin sister rescued him on Friday as she discovered him in this appalling state.

The child said he had to sleep inside the bathroom. “The floor used to be wet.”  He used to do the laundry, drag mattresses up to the rooftop to put them out in the sun and sweep and mop the floor.

Exploitation of Bangladeshis in Malaysia - HR activist terms it human trafficking

Porimol Palma, The Daily Star, April 11, 2009

[accessed 25 August 2014]

[accessed 20 January 2018]

The exploitative practices centring Bangladeshi workers in Malaysia constitute nothing other than human trafficking; the governments of Bangladesh and Malaysia have not been able to protect the workers' rights, said Irene Fernandez, a veteran migrants' rights activist of Malaysia.

When they brought workers in surplus numbers to Malaysia, they were only interested in making fast cash. The outsourcing companies told Bangladeshi job brokers 'you pay me 500 ringgit per worker and find jobs for them and do whatever'. So, Bangladeshi job brokers then bought the workers from the outsourcing companies, and literally made them slaves. The brokers then told the workers 'you go and work, I will give you food and lodging'. And the workers were put to work for two, three, or four months. So, the contract that had been signed between the workers and recruiting agencies in Bangladesh, which was attested by the Bangladesh government, had no meaning any more.

The question is now, why no action is being taken against the Malaysian outsourcing companies for the fact that they violated the contracts. Again, the governments of both countries have not been able to enforce the rules. Malaysia has to make its companies accountable, and Bangladesh has to make its recruiting agencies accountable. Because the passports of the workers are being held and the workers who don't have any job are being locked up by the job brokers or the outsourcing companies, it constitutes nothing but human trafficking. And, with the global economic recession, the situation is going to worsen, because many of the companies, particularly in the manufacturing sector, are collapsing.

Bangla aiding NE human trafficking

Guwahati, March 27, 2009

[accessed 21 January 2011]

The Director General of Assam Police GM Srivastava today stated that neighbouring countries, especially Bangladesh, continue to fuel the growth of human trafficking cases in the Northeast, particularly Assam. “There have been many instances where we have seen that professional human traffickers from Bangladesh after marrying a girl from a remote area in the State elopes back home and after keeping her in the neighbouring country for some time, finally sells her to brothels in metros of India,” said Srivastava, adding that the number of duped girls, who are being duped by this racket of human traffickers, is increasing in the State.

Attributing the rise of human trafficking cases in the region to poverty and the simplicity of the people here, the Assam Police chief stressed on the need for an attitudinal change amongst the people to wipe out the menace from the society.

Govt cancels licences of 32 agencies

The Daily Star, 2008-05-26

[accessed 18 April 2012]

The government has cancelled the licenses of 32 travel and recruiting agencies in the last two months for irregularities in manpower business and involvement in human trafficking.

The licenses were cancelled after law-enforcing agencies in an investigation found the agencies illegally sending manpower abroad, which in most cases led to trafficking of women and children, meeting sources said.  Police and the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) are at present investigating the activities of some other agencies and their licenses could also be revoked on the same grounds, the meeting was told.

3,000 Bangladeshis in Yemen victims of illegal human trafficking

Yemen Times, Sana’a, March 27, 2008

[accessed 18 April 2012]

According to a reliable Bangladeshi source who asked to remain anonymous, “the "brokers" take US $4,000 for each Bangladeshi worker and give them hope of good jobs and salaries,” he said. “However, they mostly find themselves working as cleaners at restaurants and companies or construction workers.”  The source said that there are currently at least 3,000 illegal Bangladeshi workers in Yemen who end up taking menial jobs because they have no other choice. They receive between US $100-130 per month, or approximately three dollars per day.

Human Trafficking - A Security Concern for Bangladesh

Summer Joy, Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies, Issue Brief 9, August 2011

[accessed 16 February 2022]

In Bangladesh, human trafficking has gone to an acute condition. Governments, though endowed huge effort, failed evidently to control the trafficking in persons in the country. Activities of the NGOs and Multilateral agencies are also limited to the function of awareness building and advocacy. The complicity of the government with the trafficking nexus has added much doubt whether the government is abundantly willing to address the issue.

Combating Trafficking for Forced Labor Purposes in the OSCE Region

U.S. Commission On Security And Cooperation In Europe (Helsinki Commission) Hearing On Human Trafficking, October 11, 2007

[accessed 28 May 2017]

For example, a contract labor agency in Bangladesh advertised work at a garment factory in Jordan. The ad promised a 3-year contract, $425 per month, 8 hour workdays, 6 days a week, paid overtime, free accommodations, free medical care, free food, and no advance fees. Instead, upon arrival, workers (who were obliged to pay exorbitant advance fees) had passports confiscated, were confined to miserable conditions, and were prevented from leaving the factory. Months passed without pay, food was inadequate, and sick workers were tortured. Because most workers had borrowed money at inflated rates to get the contracts, they were obliged through debt to stay. The sad truth is that we find workers across the globe holding on to the thin hope that they will eventually get paid, or that conditions will improve, because if they leave, there is no hope that they will be able to repay the debt.

Human trafficking on rise across bordering districts

RU Correspondent, The Daily Star, October 16, 2006

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 4 September 2011]

Speakers at a view-exchange meeting yesterday said that the incidents of human trafficking are on the rise across the bordering districts.  The meeting revealed that between June 15, 2004 and September 2006, 488 victims were rescued, 379 traffickers were detained and 444 victims were handed over to their legal guardian.  The rest of the victims are taking shelter in different shelter homes in the country.

21 points in border areas vulnerable

The New Nation, 23 Jul 2006

[accessed 21 January 2011]

Human trafficking is the third most profitable business after drugs and gunrunning in the South Asian region and twenty-one points in the border have been identified as vulnerable areas in Bangladesh.

Prof Shamim said that representatives from the SAARC countries recommended widening of the scope of SAARC Convention to exceed beyond prostitution to include many types of exploitations, including forced and indentured labour, camel jockeys and organ transplantation.

Bangladesh busts human trafficking ring: 34 rescued

Deutsche Presse-Agentur (German Press Agency) DPA, Dhaka, 5 May 2006

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 4 September 2011]

The women and children, some as young as five-years-old, were brought by the traffickers from four neighbourhood districts with false promises of lucrative jobs in India.

But they are mostly forced into prostitution as they illegally enter India, said Adhikar, a local non-government charity for children from poor families.

Church Mission Society Drive Against Sex Trade in Bangladesh

Maria Mackay, Christian Today, September 8, 2005

[accessed 21 January 2011]

Women particularly at risk are those living in areas where HIV is still relatively uncommon, with most of the trafficked women are sold in to Mumbhai, Rajasthan and Bihar in India. Girls can be sold into the sex trade for as little as 1000 takka (£10).

Bangla prostitution racket busted [PDF]

Source: Goa DESC Resource Centre. “Bangla Prostitution Racket Busted”

-- Retrieved from on September 8, 2006

[accessed 21 January 2011]

[page 12]  A prostitution racket with links in Bangladesh operating in the state has been busted by the Goa police.  The Crime Branch team laid a trap and arrested three women who had forced a Bangladeshi girl, Mallika (real name has been withheld) into prostitution.  The women, who procured the 16-year old Mallika from Bangladesh, are believed to have been operating in the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat, besides Goa.  Mallika, hailing from a poverty stricken family, was approached by a ‘sympathetic looking’ Bangladeshi woman, who offered to take the girl to Mumbai with the promise that the family would see a change in their fortunes.

U.S. Report On Human Trafficking Reveals  Scope Of Modern-Day Slavery

David Gollust, Voice of America VOA News, Washington DC, June 3, 2005

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 4 September 2011]

He said several countries listed in the bottom category last year, including Guyana and Bangladesh, were moved up this year because of remedial steps.

Child camel jockeys find hope

Lucy Williamson, BBC News, Dubai, February 4, 2005

[accessed 21 January 2011]

Children from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sudan are still being smuggled to the United Arab Emirates to work as camel jockeys, despite a law passed two years ago banning their use.  It is not uncommon for child jockeys to fall off and be injured while racing, and their illegal status means race track owners are often reluctant to take them to hospital.  Instead, says Ansar Burney, the boys often arrive with broken hands or broken legs. And many, he says, have been sodomized.

Four Nations Move Against Trafficking in Response to U.S. Report

Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State, 10 September 2004

[accessed 27 August 2014]

Bangladesh, Ecuador, Guyana and Sierra Leone have acted rapidly over the last few months to reduce human trafficking in their borders. In so doing, they have avoided U.S.-imposed sanctions, according to a White House announcement September 10.

The United States issued a warning of sorts in June when it released its annual survey of human trafficking activities worldwide. These four nations were cast in the lowest ranking, reflecting their inaction in lawmaking and law enforcement to control human trafficking through their borders.

Sexual Slavery in Southern California Today?  Epidemic, Say Officials

February 9, 2004 – Source:

[accessed 21 January 2011]

She was a teenage girl from an impoverished village in Bangladesh. The American couple offered her transport to America and a better life: a nice job as their nanny and housekeeper, wages and opportunity. The dream offer dissolved into a nightmare as soon as she reached sunny Southern California. The couple informed her she owed them a huge sum for bringing her into the country and forced her to work without wages for years in their home, where she was repeatedly raped and beaten by the husband and abused by the wife. After three failed attempts, and with the help of good Samaritans, she finally escaped.

India Human Rights Report

NetCent Communications -- Data Source: US Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs

[accessed 21 January 2011]

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS - In West Bengal, the organized traffic in illegal Bangladeshi immigrants was a principal source of bonded labor. Calcutta was a convenient transit point for traffickers who send Bangladeshis to New Delhi, Mumbai, Uttar Pradesh, and the Middle East.

Ground-breaking surveys expose plight of Bangladesh's working children

International Labour Organization ILO, Bangkok, 7 June 2004

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

The most detailed picture ever compiled of the conditions endured by Bangladesh’s most disadvantaged children - those working in what are classified as the worst forms of child labour – has revealed that many are working 10 hours a day, 6 days a week, sometimes for only food and a bed.

Despite these gruelling hours the vast majority receive little or even no wages. Youngsters recharging and filling batteries averaged Tk.313 (US$ 5.30) a month while street children – who earn by collecting old paper, street selling, shining shoes, portering or begging -  averaged just Tk.288 (US$4.85) a month.  Those in the transport sector did best, averaging Tk.1,417 (US$24) a month.  Yet even these low earnings figures paint a misleading picture of the children’s welfare. For example, while the average monthly wages of those in auto workshops is TK. 470 (US$ 8), 40 per cent of these children said they received no wages, just food and lodging.

Help Us Liberate The World's Slaves

Keith Skillicorn, 2006

[accessed 21 January 2011]

During my 31 years of Community Service in India and Bangladesh, mainly involved in Community Development, Rural Education, Leprosy Control and the support of Widows and Orphans, I was stunned by another major problem, thought by many to no longer exist in this 21st. Century - SLAVERY - SLAVERY's MAIN VICTIMS ARE WOMEN - SPARE THEM A KIND THOUGHT

During my 31 years spent in India and Bangladesh, particularly during two periods of famine, I saw hundreds of people enslaved as "Bonded Labourers", most being forced to work in such places as biri (cigarette) / carpet factories and brick kilns with females also forced into prostitution (sexual slavery).

Combating Trafficking Of Women And Children In South Asia [PDF]

Staff and consultants of the Asian Development Bank, April 2003

[accessed 21 January 2011]

[accessed 23 April 2020]

[page 89]  4.5.2 ENFORCEMENT OF LAWS AGAINST TRAFFICKING - The Government of Bangladesh itself acknowledges serious problems in the enforcement of laws against trafficking, including the 2000 Act. In its 1997 report to the CEDAW Committee, the Government noted that implementation of the laws was weak, in part because members of law enforcement were often themselves involved in trafficking activities, and that the laws were sometimes misapplied with the result that victims were charged with immoral behavior and put in jail. In general, the Government noted that the judicial system is difficult for women to access, since court proceedings are lengthy and court officials are often hostile or unsympathetic to them. The Government acknowledged that law enforcement authorities and the judiciary need to be better sensitized, and that the repatriation of Bangladeshi women who have been trafficked to other countries also needs to be facilitated.

Child Traffickers Prey on Bangladesh

Somini Sengupta, The New York Times, Dhaka, April 29, 2002

[accessed 23 April 2020]

Nuru Miah's hands show the hazards of his vocation: a small scar on the back of his right palm marks where a camel once sunk its teeth.  Nuru, now around 10, spent two years as a camel jockey in the Dubai desert.  How his parents were persuaded to send him to the Persian Gulf is unclear, though promises of a better life, perhaps a little money, are the conventional sales pitches. What is known is that he was sent from his home, a village south of here, when he was about 7.

Once he arrived in Dubai, his meals were rationed to make sure he did not gain much weight. He was whipped when he was disagreeable. Still, he was luckier than many of his peers. Other little boys with whom he worked, he recalled, tumbled from the camels and broke their bones.  Nuru, the son of landless peasants, is among an untold number of children who are taken out of this country each year by traffickers. Some are kidnapped, others are sold.

Factbook on Global Sexual Exploitation - Bangladesh

Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, Factbook on Global Sexual Exploitation

[accessed 21 January 2011]

TRAFFICKING - Police estimate more than 15,000 women and children are smuggled out of Bangladesh every year.

Child Labour Persists Around The World: More Than 13 Percent Of Children 10-14 Are Employed

International Labour Organisation (ILO) News, Geneva, 10 June 1996

[accessed 9 September 2011]

[accessed 30 January 2019]

"Today's child worker will be tomorrow's uneducated and untrained adult, forever trapped in grinding poverty. No effort should be spared to break that vicious circle", says ILO Director-General Michel Hansenne.

Among the countries with a high percentage of their children from 10-14 years in the work force are: Mali, 54.5 percent; Burkina Faso, 51; Niger and Uganda, both 45; Kenya, 41.3; Senegal, 31.4; Bangladesh, 30.1; Nigeria, 25.8; Haiti, 25; Turkey, 24; Côte d'Ivoire, 20.5; Pakistan, 17.7; Brazil, 16.1; India, 14.4; China, 11.6; and Egypt, 11.2.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 30 September 2003

[accessed 21 January 2011]

[73] The Committee is deeply concerned at the high incidence of trafficking in children for purposes of prostitution, domestic service and to serve as camel jockeys and at the lack of long‑term, concentrated efforts on the part of the State party to combat this phenomenon.

Human Rights Overview

Human Rights Watch

[accessed 21 January 2011]


The Department of Labor’s 2004 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2005

[accessed 21 January 2011]

Note:: Also check out this country’s report in the more recent edition DOL Worst Forms of Child Labor

INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF CHILD LABOR - Children are trafficked internally, externally, and through Bangladesh for purposes of domestic service, marriage, sale of organs, bonded labor, and sexual exploitation.  The problem of child trafficking is compounded by the low rate of birth registration, since children without legal documents have no proof that they are underage, and the lack of enforcement at the borders.  India and the Middle East are the primary destinations for trafficked children.  Children are trafficked from rural areas of Bangladesh to its larger cities, and to countries in the Gulf region and the Middle East.  Young boys are trafficked to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar to work as camel jockeys.  However, some progress has been made in stemming the trafficking of children to the region.

2017 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 20 April 2018

[accessed 16 March 2019]

[accessed 16 March 2019]


The law prohibits all forms of forced or compulsory labor. Penalties for forced or bonded labor offenses are five to 12 years’ imprisonment and a fine of not less than 50,000 taka ($625). Inspection mechanisms that enforce laws against forced labor did not function effectively. Resources, inspections, and remediation efforts were inadequate. The law also provides that victims of forced labor have access to shelter and other protective services afforded to trafficking victims.

Some individuals recruited to work overseas with fraudulent employment offers subsequently were exploited abroad under conditions of forced labor or debt bondage. Many migrant workers assume debt to pay high recruitment fees, imposed legally by recruitment agencies belonging to the Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies and illegally by unlicensed subagents.

Some instances of bonded labor and domestic service were reported, predominately in rural areas. Children and adults were forced into domestic servitude and bonded labor that involved restricted movement, nonpayment of wages, threats, and physical or sexual abuse.


Children were engaged in the worst forms of child labor, primarily in dangerous activities in agriculture. Children working in agriculture risked using dangerous tools, carrying heavy loads, and applying harmful pesticides. Children frequently worked long hours, were exposed to extreme temperatures, and suffered high rates of injury from sharp tools. Children also worked in such hazardous activities as stone and brick breaking, dyeing operations, blacksmith assistance, and construction. Forced child labor was present in the fish-drying industry, where children were exposed to harmful chemicals, dangerous machines, and long hours of work. In urban areas street children worked pulling rickshaws, garbage picking, recycling, vending, begging, repairing automobiles, and working in hotels and restaurants. These children were vulnerable to exploitation, for example, in forced begging or being used to smuggle or sell drugs.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 6 February 2020]

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS – There was extensive trafficking in both women and children, primarily to India, Pakistan, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait, and destinations within the country, mainly for prostitution and in some instances for labor servitude. Some boys were trafficked to the Middle East to be used as camel jockeys.

According to government sources, law enforcement personnel recovered 139 victims of trafficking during the year. A cooperative effort between NGOs, the government, and the UAE, resulted in the repatriation of 164 camel jockeys, 159 of whom were reunited with their biological parents. The other five remained in NGO shelters at year's end, receiving social and vocation skills training while the NGO attempted to locate their families.

BNWLA rescued 314 trafficking victims from within the country and repatriated 32 others from the UAE and India during the year. The number of persons arrested for trafficking was difficult to obtain, as charges against traffickers were sometimes for lesser crimes, such as crossing borders without proper documents. According to the Center for Women and Child Services, most trafficked boys were under 10 years of age, while most trafficked girls were between 11 and 16 years of age.

The exact number of women and children trafficked was unknown. Most trafficked persons were lured by promises of good jobs or marriage, and some were forced into involuntary servitude outside of and within the country. Parents sometimes willingly sent their children away to escape poverty. Unwed mothers, orphans, and others outside of the normal family support system were also susceptible. Traffickers living abroad often arrived in a village to marry a woman, only to dispose of her upon arrival in the destination country, where women were sold into bonded labor, menial jobs, or prostitution. Criminal gangs conducted some of the trafficking. The border with India was loosely controlled, especially around Jessore and Benapole, making illegal border crossings easy.

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