There are numerous children who are at risk of trafficking and migration in Keraniganj, a hotspot of Bangladesh that accounts for 8% of total migrant workers. Children in this community are vulnerable to exploitation due to poverty and migration debts, leaving the children vulnerable to trafficking. Our One Stop Digital Service Centre is a mechanism for reporting of cases as well as a hub for information and awareness against trafficking.
As a result of the pandemic, unemployment had risen sharply, and average income in the slums and among the rural poor had dropped. As a result, many people resorted to risky and illegal work, leaving them increasingly vulnerable to trafficking. Children hailing from these families were especially at high risk for domestic as well as cross border trafficking.
Existing protection systems were available but victims were unaware. Many of them suffered in silence as a result of the trauma.
In collaboration with our partner, INCIDIN Bangladesh, IT partner Viamo, and support from the USA Department of State Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Person (TIP), we developed an online reporting mechanism known as One Stop Digital Service Center (OSDSC) in Ati Bazar, Keraniganj under Dhaka district.
Through this service, people can report cases of trafficking and victims can seek redressal in terms of counselling services, safe migration, linkage to livelihood opportunities and micro credit.
We have also spread awareness about the service through the distribution of IEC materials and digital promotional campaigns reaching 18000 community members. Our biggest strength has been our team of school children who have supported us in spreading the word about our service centre. Many victims of trafficking have also emerged as agents of change through this programme.
We have also trained Counter Trafficking Committees on online reporting, their roles and responsibilities along with training on Interactive Voice Recording modules.
As of June 2023, around 748 people have either reported trafficking cases or visited OSDSC for trafficking related information and services. As many as 215 victims of trafficking reported trafficking cases through the website and received services.