Staff Reporter 

To establish a criminal justice system that promotes human rights and needs of the trafficked victims rather than exclusively punishing the criminals, the Bhutan National Legal Institute (BNLI) in collaboration with the Department of Law and Order conducted training on Trafficking in Persons (TIP).

Thirteen judges 13 and nine judicial officers too part in the programme.

The participants were trained to adequately detect trafficking cases, identify trafficking victims and implement anti-trafficking legislation in line with national laws and international standards.

TIPs are a growing concern in the country.

The country is, for example, beginning to feel the nudges of this organised crime with more number of human trafficking cases being reported over the past years.

In Bhutan, according to last year’s media reports, although there were increasing reports of Bhutanese being allegedly trafficked abroad, as well as within the country; 11 human trafficking cases between 2007 and 2018 were detected.

And last year, it was reported that over 160 Bhutanese women were trafficked to Iraq through illegal Bhutanese employment agents.

Press release states that the lack of appropriate and adequate legal tools, awareness and professional capacity was a challenge for judicial officials. “There is a dire need to build the capacity to deal with the crimes through workshops and training.”

The training programme was supported by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) through promoting rights-based Multi-sectoral Responses to prevent Trafficking in Persons in Bhutan project.

“Prevention and Protection of people from falling victim to this crime is the need of the hour,” states the press release.

As per UNODC global report on trafficking in 2020, women continue to be affected by TIPs with 46 percent of the global population. Twenty percent were men victims, 15 percent were boys and 19 percent girls, according to the report.

The report also stated that the sharp increase in unemployment rates brought about by the pandemic situation is likely to increase trafficking in persons.

The two-day training was held in Bumthang on April 7.