For the first third of my internship I assisted with the closeout of Winrock International’s Bangladesh Counter-Trafficking-in-Persons (BCTIP) project, which came to an end after five years of work in twenty-five trafficking-prone districts in Bangladesh. The project was centered around four target areas: prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnership – a popular approach in the world-wide fight against slavery titled the “4Ps.” BCTIP saw many successes and helped survivors gain career skills, find employment, and come to terms with any trauma from their trafficking experience.
The biggest success for survivor justice was the establishment of seven special trafficking tribunal courts to process the backlog of over 4,000 TIP cases. The judges and law enforcement officials sitting on these tribunals had to undergo special gender and social awareness trainings because survivors were not finding justice in the regular courts. Trafficking victims are almost always lower-class citizens and there were records of judges shouting at victims for being foolish enough to fall for a trafficking scheme. These newly trained judges haven’t had time to process many cases yet, but hopefully with the special trainings to judge TIP cases, survivor claims will reach more compassionate ears than before.
As the project had ended the month I joined, I worked mostly in administrative roles. I edited the end of project report the Bangladeshi team had written and corrected the English to read more naturally before it was sent to USAID. I also created a highlights document summing up the project successes that is to be published on the Winrock website.
Reading so many reports and talking to people so invested in the subject has given me the vocabulary to discuss and understand TIP as well as an awareness of the vastness of the crime worldwide. I am eager to continue learning and take on more responsibility as the summer progresses.