Catechists received anti-trafficking training at Christo Jyoti pastoral center in Rajshahi in a four-day course that finished yesterday. The training dealt with various issues concerning trafficking of women and children. Some 43 participants learned about the reasons for trafficking and what measures they can take against it, amid concerns at the growth of human trafficking as the winter season looms in northwestern Rajshahi diocese. Caritas
Rajshahi regional office assisted in organizing the program. “As the diocese borders India, most of the people living in the area are vulnerable for trafficking. Sometimes our catechists visit them and offer pastoral services, so we realized they could become useful tools to curb trafficking by making people aware,” said Father William Murmu, chancellor of the diocese. According to Bangladesh police, every year about 15,000 people, mostly women and children are smuggled out of Bangladesh. A non-government source reports that in the last two decades 200,000 women and children were trafficked to the Middle East alone. A significant share of Bangladesh’s trafficking victims consists of men recruited for work overseas with fraudulent employment offers. They are subsequently exploited under conditions of forced labor or debt bondage. Bangladeshi children and women are trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, and forced and bonded labor. “Because of overpopulation and poverty, poor people, especially women and children, get trapped by trafficking rackets. In most cases there is lack of awareness in personal and family life concerning trafficking. We believe catechists can play a greater role to change the situation,” said Lucy Mardi, 40, the trainer.