Section 3

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Abuse of vulnerability Coercive, unfair or deceptive recruitment Criminal liability Human trafficking

Section 3 provides the definition of human trafficking under Bangladeshi law. The definition under this section mirrors the UN Human Trafficking Protocol definition, and sets out three constitutive elements of the Bangladeshi offence of human trafficking:

  • The ACT: the selling, buying, recruitment, receipt, transportation, transfer, or harbouring of any person.
  • The MEANS: threats or use of force or other forms of coercion; abduction, fraud or deception,  or of the abuse  of any person’s socio-economic, environmental or other types of vulnerability; or the giving or receiving of payments  or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person (if the victim of the trafficking offence is a child, it is immaterial whether any of these means were used).
  • The PURPOSE: for the purpose of sexual exploitation, labour exploitation or any other form of exploitation or oppression

Notes

Until the enactment of the 2012 Human Trafficking Deterrence and Suppression Act, the concept of ‘labour exploitation’ was absent from Bangladeshi legislation. This major gap in the laws of Bangladesh was addressed in section 3 of the Act, with the provision of a definition of human trafficking that mirrors the UN Trafficking Protocol definition.

The Act also expressly states that the fraudulent recruitment of labour migrants is included in the definition of human trafficking,  if the recruiter knows that the workers would be subjected to exploitative labour conditions such as forced labour or servitude.

Link to full text

Text

Section 3. Human trafficking shall mean:

(1) the selling, buying, recruitment, receipt, transportation, transfer, or harbouring of any person for the purpose of sexual exploitation, labour exploitation or any other form of exploitation or oppression, whether in or outside of Bangladesh, by means of:

(a) threats or use of force or other forms of coercion; or

(b) abduction, fraud or deception,or of the abuse of any person’s socio-economic, environmental or other types of vulnerability; or

(c) the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person.

(2) If the victim of the trafficking offence is a child, it shall be immaterial whether any of the means mentioned in (a) to (c) of subsection (1) is used or not.
Explanation.- For the purposes of this section, if any person induces or assists any other person through deception and for bad intention to move, migrate or emigrate for work or service, either inside or outside of the territory of Bangladesh, though he knows that such person would be put into exploitative labour conditions similar to practices of servitude or forced labour or into any other form of exploitation or oppression as mentioned in sub-section (15) of section 2, such act of the person shall be included as an act within the meaning of “human trafficking” as defined in sub-section 1.

Law / 20 February 2012 / Bangladesh / Human Trafficking Deterrence and Suppression Act 2012

The Human Trafficking Deterrence and Suppression Act 2012 criminalises all forms of human trafficking and punishes the offence of trafficking with 5 years to life imprisonment and a fine. Furthermore, the Act explicitly criminalises forced labour and debt bondage, and prescribes a penalty ranging from 5 to 12 years’ imprisonment and a fine. The Act also provides for the establishment of a Human Trafficking Prevention Fund, as well as a National Anti-Trafficking Authority. Additionally, the Act contains provisions on the protection and rehabilitation of victims, including access to compensation and legal and psychological counselling.