Bangladesh is a source country, as well as a transit country, for humans subjected to trafficking.

Many of the victims are men, who are recruited with falsified offers to work abroad.

These men are to a very large extent forced to slave-like labor to pay off their debts.

Children of both sexes are lured into the trafficking industry by deception or force.

They are smuggled within the country to be exploited as sex workers or for child labor.

To a lesser extent, some are also sold as slaves by their parents.

Numerous women and children are also being sold as sex workers to neighboring India.

Many men and women are voluntarily moving abroad, to countries like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, United Arab Emirate, Qatar, Iraq, Lebanon, Malaysia and Liberia, to work under a legal contract.

They rely mostly on government recruitment agencies that have the legal right to charge a high fee ($ 1,235) for a worker that they put on low-skilled jobs with low pay ($ 100-150 a month).

Non- government organizations can charge up to $ 6000 for their recruitment services.


According to reports from voluntary organizations, many expatriated Bangladeshis fall victim to recruitment frauds, including unreasonably high fees and false statements of the working conditions.

The high fees increases the vulnerability among the migrated workers to end up in forced labor.

Women working abroad are often employed as housekeepers.

Some of them are in situations of forced labor or slavery under debt, and will be subject to restrictions of movement, loss of wages, threats, violence and sexual abuse.

Some of these women working abroad are smuggled into commercial sexual exploitation.

Both bangladeshi children and adults are being subjected to trafficking within the borders of their own country as well, in the sex industry or as slave laborers.

Many brothel owners and procurers provide the girls with steroids, to make them more attractive to the customers, with devastating results.

90 % of women between the age 15 and 35 working bangladeshi brothels use the drug.

The government has criminalized trading with women and children for sexual exploitation or slavery.

The penalty ranges from 10 years imprisonment to the death penalty.

The most common sentence for convicted human traffickers is lifetime imprisonment.


Bangladeshi penal code prohibits forced labor, but the penalties are low.

Imprisonment for up to one year or a fine are not sufficiently stringent and deterrent .

Despite administrative measures taken against agencies involved in fraudulent labor recruitment and possible human trafficking , the government has not reported any prosecutions or convictions for such crimes.

Judiciary handling of cases involving sex trade is plagued by a large backlog and delays caused by procedural loopholes.

Several NGO:s reports widespread corruption within and between political parties and parliamentarians.

Studies show that politicians and regional gangs are involved in trafficking.

Some NGO:s showed that public recruitment agencies in Dhaka has connections with employers in destination countries that sometimes put their migrant workers in slave-like situations.

Low level government employees are also involved in human trafficking.