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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Students to need NOCs for visas

Dhaka, Jan 19 ( – The government will introduce a new provision making it mandatory for students to take 'no-objection' certificates from the education ministry to secure visas for studying abroad.

Additional secretary Iqbal Khan Chowdhury told a seminar in the capital on Wednesday that the obligation would be imposed as part of efforts to combat human trafficking undercover of student visas.

Law minister Shafique Ahmed also addressed the seminar titled 'Joint efforts to formulate a comprehensive law to prevent human trafficking: Next steps for implementation' as the chief guest.Centre for Women and Children Studies organised the seminar at BIAM Foundation auditorium.The minister said a section titled 'prevention' should be included in the draft Human Trafficking Prevention and Control Act-2011, formulated by the home ministry.

"A 'prevention' provision should be included in the law, identifying mechanisms to chase human trafficking gangs and ensuring their punishment."Ahmed mentioned that a large number of Bangladeshi jobseekers were leading a miserable life in different countries after they were sent there with tourist visas.He urged the departments concerned not to allow any officer below sub-inspector rank to investigate any human trafficking case.He said a law, 'Victim and Witness Protection Act', will be passed soon for security of the victims and witnesses.

Human Rights Commission chairman professor Dr Mizanur Rahman urged all concerned to combat human trafficking and ensure smooth immigration of workers.Iqbal Khan suggested measures against the investigation officers whose inefficiency helps the accused in human trafficking cases escape punishment.Expatriates welfare and overseas employment ministry joint secretary Asadul Islam, Centre for Women and Children Studies president Ishrat Shamim and Law Commission member Mohammad Abdul Mobarak also spoke, among others.

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