The Church’s social development programme has been actively fighting the trafficking of women and children since 2005.
Bangladesh is a country of origin for trafficking in women and children. It is estimated that between 10 000 and 20 000 women and girls are trafficked annually to India, Pakistan, Bahrain, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates. The major contributing factors to the trafficking are poverty, social exclusion, gender discrimination, widespread illiteracy, lack of awareness and poor governance .
The Church works to prevent and combat trafficking through awareness raising among the community, education and discussion. It disseminates messages through role-play, billboard, posters and leaflets. It also ndertakes advocacy and networking with other organizations working on trafficking.
Rehabilitation of the victims takes place through counseling and providing alternative economic activities. The Church has succeeded in cutting trafficking in 70 villages and 4 strategic city areas prone to this crime.
Mamun at the age of five was trafficked to UAE for using as jockeys in camel racing. The Bangladesh government rescued him along with others from UAE after six years. The child could return, but had been completely traumatised, and it was only when a church social worker introduced him to a counselling and social care service that the boy returned to a normal social life. Many women and children once trafficked have been rehabilitated back into the community through the social programme of the church of Bangladesh. Mr. Abdul Bashar, Head Master of a primary school of the locality where the church works, thinks that greater social awareness would help reduce the level of trafficking. He appreciated the strong role of the Church for working on this issue and helping the community.
The Church of Bangladesh’s presence in preventing the trafficking in women and children is welcomed by the community as well as by the local administration.
For more information http://www.protectionproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Bangladesh.pdf