Talitha Kum Bangladesh held a webinar to create awareness against child trafficking on February 26.
The webinar focused on preventing human trafficking by ensuring the well-being of children eliminating early and forced marriages.
Tony Michael Gomes, Director of Communications, Advocacy, and External Engagement for World Vision Bangladesh, was the key resource person.
“Bangladesh’s 170 million population has 66 million children where more than 40 million children are vulnerable. It is preventable. Ninety-two percent of 3-year-olds are out of school. Even among 4-year-olds, the share of children attending ECE is only 38 percent. It is not until the age of 5 that most children are in school,” he said.
Tony Gomes says, “UNICEF reports child trafficking in Bangladesh is approximately 400 women and children each month. Another study reports that approximately 300,000 Bangladeshi children and women between the age group of 12- 30 were trafficked to India alone in the last ten years.”
Tony Michael Gomes said that the significant factor for child trafficking in Bangladesh is parents' lack of awareness about child trafficking and child protection issues. There is a lack of understating on preventing child trafficking and a lack of social protection mechanisms.
“Church can take the initiative to protect children by creating strong awareness for parents about child trafficking and child protection issues,” he said.
Francesca Dona, Regional Coordinator-South Asia (Migrants & Refugees Section-Vatican), said, “the presentation was a compelling reflection to enlighten our heart and inspired to engage preventing the human trafficking.”
Father Liton H. Gomes CSC, executive secretary of the justice and peace commission in Bangladesh, said, “Bangladesh and Indian faith leaders have to take some concrete action plan to prevent and serve the victims.
The participants shared the local situation of the minor girls and women trafficked with the representatives of other countries, exchanged views, and made a journey with a spirit of Synodality.
Office of Talitha Kum Vatican, Talitha Kum Asia, and Vatican Migrants and Refugees Section joined the event.
In working towards the prevention of human trafficking, Talitha Kum considers its engagement towards the realization of the UN 2030 and the achievement of the SDG5, which addresses the elimination of harmful practices, such as child, early, and forced marriages.
Monthly webinars are the regular initiative of Talitha Kum Asia.
In Bangladesh, 12 million girls are married each year before the age of 18. That’s 22 girls every minute whose childhood, dreams, and education are abruptly ended.
On the other hand, Bangladesh is home to 38 million child brides, including currently married girls and women who were first married in childhood. For this, 13 million married before the age of 15.
In this awareness webinar all together participants were 60 from Asia, Europe, and African countries.
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.