Illegal Migration and Trafficking of Adivasi Women and Children: A Socio-Anthropological Study of the Northern Region of Bangladesh

Posted: 1 Nov 2014

Date Written: April 4, 2011


This research focused on the movement of Adivasis women and children from their place of origin to place of migration and how to trapped by traffickers; and face physical and mental harassments. Both historical and empirical data have been used for this research. Historical data is mainly collected from secondary sources, such as published books, census reports, journals, articles, and souvenir. Empirical data has been gathered from intensive fieldwork, through oral histories, informal interviews and case study methods. The field investigations have been conducted in six villages of Nawabgonj and Naogoan District in northern Bangladesh.

Adivasis people are afraid of smugglers and agents who are directly involved with cross-border migration and trafficking. So they generally do not protest when they see crimes being committed. In fact, cross-border migration, smuggling and trafficking are well-known fact of the residents in bordering areas and also it is a source of income. Usually illegal migrants cross the border at night, and they need a safe place to stay during the day. It is also found that the respondents are not well aware of the illegal nature of their occupation and the risks they are taking. Illegal migration is due to natural disasters and fear of eviction from the land they occupied. Due to migration, both the women and children face lots of religious and social discrimination at their new work places. Majority of them are unskilled and unable to communicate with other people. Usually Adivasis people are habituated with nature and they have their traditional way of living e.g., collecting forest products and cell the process products to the markets. But, these products e.g. baskets that they made at home , have been eroded by the introduction of new products and loosing common land and resources. Even irrigated agriculture, benefiting mainly more wealthy Bengali farmers, can undermine their livelihoods by depleting groundwater supplies on which they depend. So, they trapped by the traffickers hopping migration could positively change their standard of living. In some cases after migration they could get more income, but they lost their usual livelihoods with physical, mental, communal and social status.

Suggested Citation

Farhana, Dr Khandaker Mursheda, Illegal Migration and Trafficking of Adivasi Women and Children: A Socio-Anthropological Study of the Northern Region of Bangladesh (April 4, 2011). Available at SSRN:

Dr Khandaker Mursheda Farhana (Contact Author)

Shanto-Mariam University of Creative Technology ( email )

Dhaka, 1230

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