The seven-year Bangladesh Counter Trafficking-in-Persons (BC/TIP) Program, funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by Winrock International, works in 25 trafficking-prone districts in Bangladesh and with 12 sub-grantee non-governmental organization (NGO) partners to implement the 4P Paradigm (prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnerships) to mitigate human trafficking (HT) child marriage (CM), and to promote safe migration.
BC/TIP’s main objective was to reduce human trafficking and child marriage in Bangladesh in order to achieve improved protection of civil and human rights in six interrelated areas:
To achieve this, BC/TIP connected local and national government representatives, non-governmental organizations, the business community, community leaders, and citizens. The project prioritized the sustainability of CTIP efforts by strengthening community capacities to identify at-risk and vulnerable people, victims/survivors of trafficking and CM, and take action for their protection through a district referral mechanism and via volunteer groups, including youth Peer Leaders and survivor ANIRBAN groups.
BC/TIP was reinforced by the following theory of change: if awareness and capacities of community members to identify and take actions against trafficking activities, traffickers, and child marriage (CM); if access to support services by trafficking survivors and those at-risk and victims of child marriage is improved; if the responsiveness of criminal justice actors is increased; and if all concerned stakeholder partners to combat trafficking and child marriage are coordinated in effective way, then the prevalence of these human rights abuses and vulnerability factors in Bangladesh will be reduced.
Changes to the context led to some significant changes in the approach and scope of BC/TIP in 2018, in response to the exodus of 700,000 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar into the Bangladesh Cox’s Bazar area. BC/TIP worked with the Rohingya population and host communities to address the increased risk of human trafficking, child marriage, and gender-based violence (GBV). In 2017 the Government of Bangladesh enacted the Child Marriage Restraint Act (CMRA), which enabled BC/TIP to integrate interventions against child marriage into its community-level efforts the following year, since CM is identified as a risk factor for human trafficking. Additionally, a Knowledge Management and Learning component was added to the project to reinforce the Collaborating, Learning, and Adapting mechanisms used in BC/TIP’s work enhancing the capacities of stakeholder groups for systematic change. BC/TIP conducted a situational analysis and needs assessment of male survivors in 2018 and in 2019, Bangladesh remained on the US State Department’s Tier 2 Watchlist for the third year in a row. BC/TIP, therefore, worked closely with the Government of Bangladesh (GOB) to prioritize and implement recommendations in the 2020 US State Department’s Annual TIP report, resulting in the country’s promotion to Tier 2 in 2021. BC/TIP was flexible and resilient in responding to the COVID-19 crisis, adapting their activities to virtual platforms and developing comprehensive contingency plans to maintain project continuity, including in Cox’s Bazar.
This media content is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under cooperative agreement No. AID-388-A-14-00003 to reduce the prevalence of human trafficking in Bangladesh and increase the protection of civil and human rights by preventing and reducing the risks of trafficking, protecting trafficking survivors, prosecuting trafficking offenders, and fostering effective partnerships among stakeholders. The contents are the responsibility of Winrock International and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.