Speedy trial of human trafficking cases stressed | The Asian Age Online, Bangladesh

Speakers at a meeting here today unequivocally called for an integrated efforts of all concerned for speedy trials in human trafficking cases for the sake of ensuring justice to the victims. Collective efforts of all judges, lawyers, law-enforcers and others concerned have become indispensable to bring the desired yield in this regard.The anti-trafficking campaigners said the slow pace of trial proceedings and low conviction rate had opened the door to a gradual increase in the crime in the country, reports BSS.

They came up with the observation while addressing the ‘Special Tribunal and Bar Association Experience Sharing Meeting on Trafficking-in-Persons Cases’ at Hotel Warisan in Rajshahi city. Sachetan, a rights-based development organization, hosted the meeting in association with USAID and Winrock International under the Bangladesh Counter Trafficking-in-Person Program. Liakat Ali Mollah, District and Session Judge and Judge of special tribunal for speedy trials in human trafficking cases, addressed the meeting as chief guest with Hasinul Islam, Executive Director of Sachetan, in the chair.

Senior Assistant Judge Luna Ferdous, General Secretary of Advocate Bar Association PErvez Zaidy, Assistant Public Prosecutor Anjuman Ara Khatun, Sachetan Project Coordinator Mahmud Un Nabi, Winrock Team Leader Nazrul Islam and Programme Officer Rejwana Sultana also spoke. In his remarks, the chief guest said the government has set up seven special tribunals in divisional cities for speedy trials in human trafficking cases. The tribunals will surely help speed up the trial process of the human trafficking cases, he added. He also said the prosecution lawyers are trying their level best to dispose of the cases.

During her concept paper presentation, Rejwana Sultana said the slow pace of trial proceedings and low conviction rate had opened the door to a gradual increase in the crime in the country. “Trials of the human trafficking cases get delayed as witnesses do not come forward to give their testimonies,” she said, adding many of the accused go unpunished as the prosecution fails to prove charges against them as witnesses show no interest to give their testimonies.

Advocate Pervez Zaidy told the meeting that the conviction rate is very poor in the human trafficking cases as the prosecution lawyers cannot prove the charges against the accused. “Many of the accused go unpunished as the prosecution fails to prove charges against them as witnesses show no interest to give their testimonies,” he added. Some 30 persons comprising judges, lawyers, development activists and other stakeholders joined the meeting putting forward a set of recommendations on how to get positive results through mitigating the existing problems and challenges in this field.

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