Department of Law and Order involves FAB to enhance people’s awareness on human trafficking

An increasing number of individuals and organisations are using technology to lure people for fake opportunities. As a result, a rising number of Bhutanese fall prey to human trafficking. Considering this, the Department of Law and Order in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime will now involve actors from the Film Association as partners to enhance people’s awareness on human trafficking.

According to the Department of Law and Order, most of the human trafficking cases in the country are related to overseas employment opportunities. And the risk of human trafficking is only higher with everyone on social media and many seeking better employment opportunities outside the country.

“Now we have 760,000 internet users in the country. So, from that point of view, people could be easily duped into a fake employment opportunity. And for Bhutan in fact, this is the problem,” said Officiating Director of the department, Karma Dorji.

Coinciding with World Day Against Trafficking in Persons today, the department sensitised more than 40 actors about human trafficking.

The involvement of the film fraternity in the human trafficking advocacy program is expected to raise the level of awareness among more people.

“I think as public figures, as social media influencers, it’s so important for us to help, come together and raise awareness against human trafficking, support the victims and also help. We have to create a safe digital environment,” said Tsokye Tsomo, an actor from the Film Association of Bhutan.

“The victim of human trafficking can be our family, brother, sister, and anyone can fall prey to it. So, it is important to advocate and let people know as early as possible. We gained a lot of knowledge today and henceforth all the members of the film fraternity will work towards advocating and preventing human trafficking in the country,” said Chencho Dorji, President of the Film Association of Bhutan.

From 2007 till date, the country recorded 14 human trafficking cases. Of it, 10 were convicted for trafficking Bhutanese women to other countries.

The country repatriated 200 Bhutanese women from Iraq and Oman since 2020. Their cases are under investigation.

According to the department, these women were working as domestic helpers and some worked in spas and parlours. They were subjected to harsh working conditions where their passports were seized by their employers. In some cases, the women were also abused physically and sexually by the employers.

Kelzang Choden

Edited by Sonam Pem

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