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Project: Develop a Protocol on Anti-Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU) and Guideline on National Referral Mechanism (NRM) and Training to the CTC Members

On going project : 26 Jun, 2019

This project was implemented during September-November 2015 with funding support from UNODC, Dhaka. A Protocol on Anti-Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU) and National Referral Mechanism were prepared. The Protocol contained information on the structure, mode of operation, location and jurisdiction, role of stakeholders including police department etc. while the National Referral Mechanism focused on the coordination mechanism among the agencies to prevent trafficking, protect victims and their families, rescue, rehabilitation and reintegration. A ‘Consultation Meeting to Share and Review of the Draft Structure and Function of Anti Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU) & National Referral Mechanism (NRM) Guideline on Anti-Trafficking with the relevant stakeholders was organized on 18 November 2015 at Mahbub Kabir Memorial Hall, BIAM Foundation, Dhaka to collect views, opinions, feedback and suggestions to enrich and finalize the draft protocol and referral guideline on Anti-human Trafficking Unit and Guideline for National Referral Mechanism.

Subsequently, 2 Orientation Workshops on Anti-Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU) with members of District Counter Trafficking Committees (CTCs) were organized. The objective of the workshop was to share the Draft Protocol on structure and function of Anti Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU) and get participant’s suggestions to enrich and finalize the Protocol. An Orientation Workshop on Anti Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU) with Members of District Counter Trafficking Committee (CTC), Sirajganj was organized on 28 November 2015 at the Conference Room of Deputy Commissioner Office in Sirajganj. The workshop was jointly organized by Centre for Women and Children Studies (CWCS), SHISUK and Deputy Commissioner’s Office, Sirajganj. About 5 guests including Deputy Commissioner of Sirajganj and 26 districts Counter Trafficking Committee (CTC) members attended the workshop.  

Another Orientation Workshop on Anti Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU) with Members of District Counter Trafficking Committee (CTC), Jashore was organized on 5 December 2015 at the Conference Room Number 1 of Deputy Commissioner’s Office of Jashore. The Orientation Workshop was organized jointly by the Centre for Women and Children Studies (CWCS), Dhaka Ahsania Mission and the Deputy Commissioner’s office. Dr. Md. Humayun Kabir, Deputy Commissioner of Jashore district was the Chief Guest at the opening session. Mr. Sohel Hasan, Additional District Magistrate of Jashore was the Special Guest while Mr. Md. Safin Mahmud was the Guest of Honour on the occasion. Mr. ABM Kamrul Ahsan, Programme Coordinator of UNODC was also present at the opening session. Md. Azad, Associate Consultant of CWCS delivered the address of welcome and facilitated the session. About 32 Guests and Participants from the district administration, government departments, International, national and grassroots NGOs attended the programme.

The guests and participants agreed that the AHTU will be a unique structure that will ensure integration of the police officials with other government departments and civil society members not only in preventing human trafficking but also providing victims with the support mechanisms that are most necessary after rescue. It will act as a referral centre with coordination of non-state actors.

They also provided the following recommendations:

  • Advocacy meeting with high level police officials of Special Crime, CID Human Trafficking Unit, Training wing, Monitoring Cell dealing with reporting of human trafficking cases can be initiated before setting up the AHTU at district level. Such high level Advocacy Meeting can be chaired by the Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • Follow-up Sharing Meeting can be organized with the members of National Go-NGO Coordination Committee to Combat Human Trafficking at the Home Ministry to come up with more effective ways of setting up the AHTU and to ensure its effective functioning.     
  • Police-public partnership in the functioning of the AHTU has to be one of the key points. Therefore, police has to be diligent in rescue operations, attending to post rescue care of rescued victims by involving other government agencies and NGOs who have expertise in victim-friendly behaviour and sensitized on the issue.
  • Multi-sectoral referral mechanism has to be developed at the district level for quick reference, action and in the best interest of the victims.
  • The AHTU can involve the District CTC members which comprises of representatives from various government departments and NGOs whenever necessary. 
  • The AHTU has to maintain close contact with the RRRI Task Force of Bangladesh at the Home Ministry to initiate action for repatriation of victims from their area from India.
  • The staff and those who will be involved in the AHTU especially police, immigration officials and public prosecutors can be selected from those who have received training of human trafficking from UNODC funding during 2014-2015