1. (SBU) On January 25, Poloff and USAID counterparts met with Home Secretary Omar Farooq, Joint Secretary Mohammad Mohsin, and ASP Sahidullah Khan from the Police Anti-Trafficking Monitoring Cell for the monthly update on BDG anti-TIP measures.
2. (SBU) Mohsin distributed and discussed the latest figures of specially monitored court cases disposed (47), persons rescued (166), and rehabilitation of victims (104) since June
2004. Since June 2004, 93 new cases have been monitored. The BDG also has prevention efforts at the Zia, Chittagong, and Sylhet Airport in addition to two landports: Benapole and Hili. There is still a provisional police camp at Dublarchar, and the Coast Guard is doing two sailings a week to monitor the situation.
3. (SBU) Farooq shared an extensive BDG plan to concentrate on awareness raising throughout society which the inter-ministerial anti-TIP committee has been working on. Currently, the plan aims to form anti-TIP committees at all levels of government, starting at the village level with at least one woman on each committee. Many ministries are involved in this awareness campaign, including the Ministry of Religious Affairs which has TIP awareness in their training curriculum. The plan is currently under review by the Secretary.
4. (SBU) Comment: Farooq sees Bangladesh as a major anti-TIP success story and a potential model for other countries. NGO's and other concerned anti-TIP partners have been consulted in the design of the BDG's proposed awareness strategy. They will also be instrumental in its implementation. Initial reports, plus an official copy of this anti-TIP approach, are expected to be shared next month. THOMAS