Dhaka (AsiaNews) - Poverty, illiteracy and disinformation are the main factors that fuel human trafficking, especially children and women, in Bangladesh, this according to local (World Vision Bangladesh, Bangladesh Sishu Adhkur Foundation) and international (Terre des Hommes Netherlands) NGOs, who organised a seminar in Dhaka to take stock of the situation and develop new strategies to combat this phenomenon.
Southern Bangladesh is where human trafficking is most prevalent and where NGOs are most active. Here "Most of the children end up in prostitution in India, Pakistan, Nepal and other neighbouring countries," said Chandan Z Gomes, a Catholic who heads World Vision Bangladesh. "Others are used for organ trafficking."
Dr Ishrat Shamim, from Dhaka University's Department of Sociology, presented some data. Between 2001 and 2007, about 1,618 children have become victims of trafficking, she said. Of these, 825 were males and 793 females.
Generally speaking, the number has dropped over the years. Nevertheless, there are 13 known brothels in Bangladesh. About 42 per cent of the women and children who work there began between the ages of 13 and 17 years.
World Vision and Caritas Bangladesh have been working on awareness and education programmes to protect children from trafficking in the areas most at risk, particularly those near border regions.