Human trafficking, what’s the penalty?

human trafficking in Bangladesh

According to the UNHCR report within last 18 months, till to date a total number of people 1.5 lac has been trafficked by boats and ships through The Bay of Bengal.

The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons of UNODC defines Trafficking in Persons as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.

human trafficking

According to the UNHCR report within last 18 months, till to date a total number of people 1.5 lac has been trafficked by boats and ships through The Bay of Bengal. Within the first 3 months of 2015, approximately 25000 people, from the other parts of the country, have been trafficked using Teknaf, Ukhia, Cox’s Bazar Sadar and Maheshkhali points. Recently, on June 2015, Bangladesh Coast Guard team has rescued 116 people from Bay of Bengal among whom 2/3 are 16 to 25 years of old.

human trafficking

The Government of Bangladesh did not provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat sex trafficking or forced labor during the reporting period. Bangladesh prohibits the trafficking of women and children for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation or involuntary servitude under the Repression of Women and Children Act of 2000 (amended in 2003), and prohibits the selling and buying of a Prostitution of children child under the age of 18 for prostitution in Articles 372 and 373 of its penal code.

human trafficking

Prescribed penalties under these sex trafficking statutes range from 10 years’ imprisonment to the death penalty. The most common sentence imposed on convicted sex traffickers is life imprisonment. These penalties are very stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. Article 374 of Penal code of Bangladesh|Bangladesh’s penal code prohibits forced labor, but the prescribed penalties of imprisonment for up to one year or a fine are not sufficiently stringent.

In response to pressing needs the government of Bangladesh enacted Human Trafficking Deterrence and Suppression Act 2012. This Act complying with the International standards stressed on the protection and implementation of the rights of the victims of human trafficking ensuring safe migration.

Prescribed punishment: The act provides severe punishment for the trafficking offence committed individually (maximum punishment is an imprisonment for life) or as an organised crime (maximum punishment is the death penalty).

Anti-human trafficking offence tribunal: The act calls for the establishment of tribunal for the purpose of speedy trial of cases which is accorded with wide power of taking evidence and other necessary tools to establish judicial accomplishment.

Protection of victims: The Act secured more significance than any other law, at least in letters, while addressing not only the preventive measures but also the protective measures for the victims of human trafficking, The measures include the identification, rescue, repatriation, rehabilitation, social integration, return (when the victim  is found in foreign country) of victims of trafficking.

human trafficking


The act categorically defined various terms related to trafficking like forced labour, exploitation, consent etc. Most significantly it provides provision of criminalising all forms of trafficking involving internal and transnational. This act also widened the scope of beneficiary by incorporation the term “person” that means natural person including company, firm which particularly indicated the inclusion of male victim in the law.


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