Over the past month I have had the pleasure of interning for Winrock International in their Bangladesh Counter Trafficking in Persons (BC/TIP) Program.
Traditionally this internship would have had me working in the field for the entirety of the summer. Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, I have been forced to work from home. Whereas working in the field would have exposed me to the many wonders of Bangladesh firsthand, I have still been able to learn an incredible amount of information about Bangladesh and the surrounding region in a short time.
Although my work is primarily focused on the issues of child marriage and human trafficking in Bangladesh, I have also worked on a number of projects involving other countries. In fact, one of my first major projects was to conduct research on the political, economic, and security situations in Afghanistan after the U.S.-Taliban deal to end fighting in the country after nearly two decades. A situation that was made even more shaky in light of a power sharing agreement made between President Ghana and Chief Executive of Afghanistan Abdullah.
Following that project, I was tasked with reviewing a report on a 2017 Bangladeshi statute regarding child marriages. After editing the report, I provided my own legal analysis on the statute. My analysis particularly pertained to a section of the statute that made child marriage legal under special circumstances. Finally, I provided a series of recommendations for the Bangladeshi Government on how to better address the issue of child marriage.
Recently I have been researching on the newly established human trafficking tribunals in Bangladesh and providing recommendations on how these tribunals can be more effective. I have also begun assisting on 15 separate criminal cases involving the prosecution of traffickers that trafficked 26 Bangladeshis into Libya where they were all murdered in late May.
Because of the fact that Bangladesh's criminal justice system is not equipped to prosecute human traffickers, Winrock has been asked to provide consultation to the Bangladeshi prosecutors working on the aforementioned 15 cases. I can think of no better and more worthwhile way of spending my summer than working to ensure that the individuals that led those 26 Bangladeshis to their death are brought to justice.
This first month of my internship has surely been quite different than if I had been on location in Bangladesh. Nonetheless, the work has been interesting, informative, and meaningful. I could not ask for more from this internship.