By now there are two cases of adoptees from Bangladesh who are suing
– the Dutch State,
– the adoption agency Wereldkinderen aka Netherlands International Child Welfare Organisation (NICWO),
– and the Dutch branch of Terre des Hommes.
The below article puts some light on the dark side of the trafficking of children in Bangladesh, and elsewhere, some 40/50 years ago. The above-mentioned organisations are referred to in this article.
We hereby re-publish the English translation of the article, which was made public before, because of a Dutch Freedom of Information request (known in NL as WOB request). The original document is difficult to read, so we typed it out – as far as we could decipher it.
Mr. Deibel of NICWO sent it to the Dutch Ministry of Justice in 1982, and there the cover-up began:
Ontvangen van Deibel 16/7 82 [received from Deibel 16/7/82]
English translation of topic article
Was published in the weekly Bichitra on 5 March ’82
Bengali Children in Foreign Brothel
Children from Bangladesh were sent to various countries of Europe including United States at different xxx xxx xx xxx are they and in what situation? For the hope of xxx cloth and education, the children of this country leaving the shelter of their own parents and sent to other countries, that has xxx the consequences at the last? This is a question of yours, xxx and hundred of parents like Milonbibi.
Then, could it be assumed that we do not have any news of them? According to the report received recently, those children had been sent abroad in the name of adoption, most of them could not get shelter through adoption. The boys have been compelled to take the profession of begging, stealing and robbery. And the girls have been made prostitutes, compelled to participate in Porno or Blue-Film. They are being used in Snuff-Movies.
The children collected from Bangladesh by various means for smuggling. Few had been collected directly from streets. On the other side, the parents have been given assurance that their children will get education in the boarding house. On the basis of that assurance parents handed over their children. And the uneducated xxx parents of this country, whose daily average income is less than TK 5.00 or have no regular flow of income, they will probably hope for managing two times meal or their children, to get clothes, education and shelter. On this way the parents had been given assurance and surety and at the time of receiving the children that they could get opportunity to go to their children at any time.
This is not the end of this story here but the beginning.
On searching, the parents found that there were no school – their children have been taken away. They further came to know with astonish that, on those paper in which they had given thumb mark were the child adoption form or agreement paper. But they never agreed to give their children for adoption in any way. Despite living in poverty, they did not agree to lose their child. But they were cheated and they lost their children by this new way of xxxx.
It is learned, at least 10 thousand Bangladeshi children of different ages have been smuggled or being smuggled ill-xx xxx xxx by concealed way or by getting ignorance of father xx xxx. And this way the smugglers got at least 20/25 thousand xxx each child.
Where the smuggled children were taken and what happening to them
Some children were directly sold to the hand of professional syndicates. They made the children crippled and engaged them as beggars. As the existence of these syndicates remains in this country similarly they are also active in foreign countries. These crippled children could be seen at different cities of the country and having their whole day’s earning through the profession of begging or different techniques by their crippled body, they handed over all money to the syndicates or ring leaders. If examined, it will be found that the cisable body of these cripple beggars are not from their xxx xxx. Due is keep certain parts of their body from normal growth, that situation happened. For this, child’s half-portion of the body kept tightened in a box day by day for a long time, tightened the hand or leg by folding, or broken the hand or leg by wrenching.
They also do not hesitate to spoil the eyes even. It is crippled by force, which could easily understand. It will be seen that, system to make such type of crippled beggars are the similar.
But these days the profession of beggars are not much profitable one, so the children are being used by distortion of different ways.
Some countries in West Europe and Asia, huge money were earning through pornography and Blue-Film. In these Pornography and Blue-films, Bangladesh children are being used. Those children have been smuggled in the name of adoption, now they are earning figure from Porno and Blue-films.
The unfortunate children of this county have become enjoyable commodity of Western distortion. Only aim is that, to earn huge money by making glance in sexual business. Bangladeshi children who are being used in Pornopicture or Blue-film, they have no age limit. The young girls are also being used and even the children of 2 to 3 years are being used for Porno-films. These Bangladeshi children are being xxx xx for sexual activities. One some xxx xx occasions, they have also been compelled for sexual activities. With the xxx xx xx xxx have been picturised. Snaps have taken and keep these xxx xxx xxx. After that, it has come in the market Times pornography are being sold in Western markets at a very high price.
Xxx xxx, demand of another type of film and it xx market xxx xxx xxx in Western countries. Those persons, who could xxx xxx by simple Pornography and also for mental dissorxxx xxx them these kind of films picturised. These films xxx xxx Snuff Movie in foreign countries. Young aged Bangladeshi children are being used in these films.
It could be seen in these pictures that one or more xxx xxx a young xxx girl, in some pictures it could be seen that from neck to stomach of a young girl was being cutting xxx xxx. The girl was being slaughtering; bleeding and sparking, and in some pictures head was being separated from the body in one xxx xxx the edged weapon and at that time the body was xxx like a slaughtered her. By raping and slaughtering, those boys or girls were being killed in the real sense. The killing scene were xxx xxx xxx in colour films. Prints and cassettes of these snuff movie films were sold from specified shops and these could be seen in the houses or secret places through gatherings. Firstly, these films were produces in some countries including United States, in Hong-Kong and Manila. In the North South America and in Europe these pictures are largely produced. Selling price of these films are undoubtedly very high and secrecy maintained for selling.
The prostitution remains there side by side. Those girls have been taken away from adopting, most of them compelled to take part in prostitution. In the beginning it could not be ascertained. Those persons, who have taken adoptions of these girls, firstly they took care of them, provided food and shelter and make them fit and habituated in living as aristocrat life. The aim was that to make these girls as aristocrat prostitute. Because aristocrat prostitutes could earn ten times higher than simple prostitute.
Bangladeshi children have been thrown to the darkness of distortion, killing, raping and prostitution – who is responsible for these? Did the parents willingly have pulled their children in this way?
In 1977, the story of children smuggling from Bangladesh was come out. At that time some advertisement and news have been published frequently in News Papers, and these were also concerned about children missing. It was found on searching about these stories that, these children were not missing without any cause. Internally organised groups smuggled Bangladeshi children in foreign countries. On finding out is was come to know that, a Holland based Relief Organisation was the main source for smuggling Bangladesh children.
Xxx xxx which organisations who have the offices in Bangladesh xxx xxx of work re different. Among them, some organisation xx xxx Children Welfare Programme. The adoption of Bangladeshi children xx xxx xxx included to their programme. The above mentioned relief
Xxxx its strong base in some European countries, xxx common person with this relief organisation is the xx xx xxxx organisation and also an officer of Holland based xxx xxx xxxx. The above mentioned person was xxx xxx xxx xxx Officer of a relief organisation of Denmark who was also the Director of another International Child Education Programme. It further come to know that a former officer of Social Welfare Department, Bangladesh Government was also involved. But during children smuggling, this officer was then holding government post.
Due to economic situation of pre-independence Bangladesh, it was xxx and easy for foreign organisations to smuggle the children from this country. The displaced families from country’s different xxx gathered in the capital. On the other hand, the distressed and poor people also gathered at the remote areas for the hope of getting relief. Then, foreign relief organisations have come forward. They told about happy future and engage themselves with various types of programmes and schemes. And every such organisation worked with their own motives. The above mentioned Holland based relief organisation and similarly some other relief organisations collected children from illiterate and poor parents. They have not-works all over Bangladesh. After collection, their local agents send the children to Dacca-Centre. Afterwards arrangements were made to smuggle these children to foreign countries. During that time the high ranking official and the Director of International Children Education Programme helped with that. The related Director, who was staying in Bangladesh was basically xxxx New Zealand’s citizen.
The said Holland relief organisation local Director, who was also the Director of Holland’s Children Adoption Organisation collected children with the co-operation of these relief organisations. Help was also taken from the said Government official to make it all legally. In this way Passport, visa etc. were xxx. On the other hand, the foreigner Director of the xxx international Children Education Programme have shown that those children were sent abroad under education-programs. Apparently, a person has doubt about this easy planning. The consequences xxx these children have been told earlier and the motives xxx xxx xxx out.
Xxx xxx rehabilitation centres were the suitable xxx xxx the child to smuggle. Such xx, from xxx rehabilitation centre 100 children have been smuggled. Xxx that, children were also collected from slum areas and rexxx place of the country, Milonbibi and Amena Khatun lost this two children in the same way. They handed over their two children aged 2 and 12 respectively. They have been given assurance that their children will get education, food, medical facilities etc and the destitute mother, it was impossible for her to xxx these. Once the child left his own house, did not come back xxx the investigation takes place, then many stories will come out and we will surprised.
Another strategy of children smuggling was that to seek permission from Guardians or parents. Generally no child was taken as adoption or sent abroad except permission of their parents. Did the good parent gave permission for their children for adoption and it was discovered that, parents were cheated. It was not so difficult in this country for this type of cheating. Taka 100 is sufficient for that.
Firstly, you have to collect a child on your own choice. Because you want to smuggle the child. And as the mother has really given permission, so this proof is required. Because every child need a mother. For this matter, a woman will act as the mother of the child. But the difference is that, this woman will not look after the interest of this child, she will only look after your interest as you appointed her. How? Once you took the woman along with the child to the court and in front of the Magistrate. The woman will give affidavit or will give statement willingly that she is the mother of this child. As no other person have claim over the child, so the woman will be recognised as the mother. Moreover, this woman will inform the magistrate that she wants to give her child as adoption. After collected attested copy in your hand give her taka 100 and say goodbye. Then there is no restriction to send the child abroad.
On the other hand, illegitimate child is another source of collection to smuggle. Many times children have been missing or picked up from the streets or collect those for this motive. Then these organisations will give advertisement in newspapers that, some children have been found and if anybody wants to produce his demand, the concerned person must contact with the organisation. Now you can, within the uneducated vast population how many persons are literate and can read newspapers. There is no certainty that this advertisement will go through the eyes of every person. So the real parents could not come to place his-her claim. That’s why the parents of xxx xxx where are their children. Then these children have been xxx xxx xxx there is no difficulties for adoption xxx xxx xxx these illegitimate children. The said relief xxx xxx xxx xxx get the chance of this useful xxx
Xxx one time in 1979 the issue of Bangladeshi smuggling had become xxx. Some activities have been found in high ranking departments. Holding some formal investigation, the xxx xxx wards hush-up. It was come to know that, the investigation could net be useful as because one concerned member of investigation committees as doubted as a child smuggled official It was also known that those parents who came to give evidence in front of commission had become afraid to see the said person. They did not have courage to speak the truth. According to another source, to keep the mouth shut-up of the parents, the personal group of the said children xxx organisation have become furious. They threatened the parents for ultimate consequences. Assuming their downfall and to safeguard wash money was given among these parents on behalf of concerned organisation. As the poverty exists, some satisfaction could provide to those parents having some money. As a result, the parents of the xxx children do not have eagerness to give evidence in front of commission. Besides that, it was known that one or two parents directly accused the said official of relief organisation against smuggled children.
Till today, process of the children smuggling do not stop. It was came to know that on protecting, some Middle East Muslim countries are said, those children were being sent to foreign countries through adopt adoption, their religion is being converting to Non-muslim. Probably as because of this protest, the child adoption was prohibited from Bangladesh in 1978. But reliable sources said, afterwards the children smuggling was continuing from Bangladesh and this technique is also remains till today.
Some have opinion, new techniques have adopted along with the old technique of current children smuggling. Local and foreign families are related with this. Some have also expressed the opinion, persons having high personalities are still connected with children smuggling. If the investigation carried on once again through the mass circulation and movement in various rehabilitation centres, then it will not be difficult to find out who are responsible with this related children smuggling matter.
Once information was asked from Holland about the smuggled 35 Bangladeshi children, only 6 were found. Despite heavy reach the Dutch administration could not find the existence of the rest. On the xxx xxx of this event the passenger list of KLM Airliner wanted to xxx xxx, but KLM administration expressed their inability to xxxx. They could not believe that these children were smuggled.
Xxx xxx Some children within these 35 Bangladeshi children xxx who have exceeded the highest age limit for adoption under the law of Netherlands. If inquiry were carried out internationally and extensively, then KLM could not behave like an uncooperative attitude. Some documents about conspiracy of Bangladeshi children were submitted two years ago to the Secretary General, Bangladesh Human Right Implementation Committee, Barrister Najmul Huda. On this context, quoted from the statement of Najmul Huda, a foreign magazine said ‘the Home Minister advised me not to conduct this case.’
Although effective step did not take place in this country but various efforts have been taken in foreign countries. On the issue of children smuggling from Bangladesh and inhuman business by xxx children, British anti-slavery Society had prepared an enquiry report. And this report is being prepared on behalf of United Nations Economic and Social Council and United Nations Human Rights Commission. On the other side, by the request of Switzerland’s children Welfare Organisation, the responsibility to conduct the investigation has taken over by ‘Interpol’ an international organisation for identifying crime and criminality. On the same subject, the Dutch law Ministry is conducting another investigation.
Child smuggling in other Countries of Asia
In Sri Lanka, a lady who was for the first time became pregnant laying in a hospital bed. She was not as much delighted for the hope of her first child. But she was looking as fearful and anxious. Because this lady was going to be unmarried mother. She was frequently thinking about ensuing de danger of an illegitimate child. At that time a nurse came beside her and whispered something. Later at due time a child was born but the newly born child was not found beside the bed of that unmarried mother. Afterwards the unmarried mother left the hospital happily and at that time she got one thousand taka in Sri Lanka’s currency in her hand. But at that moment the child probably had been sent to Europe through adoption.
Xxx Margarita was a beautiful young girl of Philippines. Xxx she became pregnant, which she could never wish. Then xxx xxx collector, the illegally syndicate have come forward for xxx of this child, an agreement was made to pride xxxx in addition some cash amount. And the child would xx xxx European country. The child would be sold there xxx xxx 12 thousand U.S. Dollar.
In the Indian States of Tamil Nadu, Ramu, a boy aged 4 years was suddenly missing. The hawker father of Ramu received the news that Ramu was captive in an orphanage which was under the guidance Xxx, xxx the organised internationally children supplying gang xxx by xxx. Earlier they sold 100 boys/girls in foreign countries xxx the so called nourishes parents. For this reason police are xxx xxx xxx woman wo sold Ramu at the cost of xxx xxx xx in the hands of this gang.
Eric and Karin Mortensgard were a couple of Denmark. They xxx xxx to take a adoption child from Thailand. At the cost of 22000[?] dollar they collected a child but they faced trouble to bring out the child from Thailand. As because under the law of Thailand, the couple, who have already two children cannot take a child for adoption. So this couple went back to homeland and later once again came back to Thailand along with a friend. Before coming, xxx xxx name of a child was endorsed in the passport of that friend. These three persons unitedly smuggled the said child from Bangladesh. And the authority in Copenhagen Airport assumed that this child was the same, which was endorsed in the passport.
In the year 1980, a child was missing from Bangladesh. Afterwards the boy managed to ran-away from a child smuggling secret place located in neighbouring country and he came back home.
In 1981 a newly born child was stolen from Dacca Medical College Hospital. Finally the child was rescued from Mymensiggh.
At present in Asia, smuggled children have been regarded as a profitable business of crores of rupees. Of South or South-East Asia in the main region of these children smuggling activities, at least a dozen countries including Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Thailand, Hong Kong, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, are the locality for the activities of children smugglers syndicates. Like various international conspiracy conducted in poor countries, the children smuggling business in Asia is also rapidly increasing. The children of South and Sough-East Asia are now the target of illegally ‘adoption, business or conspiracy. The children of this region considered as profitable earning commodity. They are now treated as exportable commodity of millions dollars. These days a child, who is being purchased at a cost of 30 to 50 dollars in Madras, Dacca or Bangkok, the some could hand over at European New York cities for not less than 10 thousand dollar.
Yearly how many children were being bought and sold from this region, that did not be known. This matter still could not known xxx in the world or even those affected countries. The massive xxx didn’t conducted. But the concerned source believed that, every year one thousand children were being smuggling from Asia. And the conspirators appointed their own reliable persons to xxx or steal the children. For them, the appropriate place is the maternity centres or hospitals. During famine in the country their reliable persons become vary xxx. It was xxx to know that in 1973 the children were even sold at a price of Take 10/- only in North Bengal.
Like other business. Je business is also depends on the supply and demand. In the Western countries as the birth rate have been reduced, the tendency for taking adoption of children increases. On the other side, for unsocial activities the children were needed.
Following children smuggling, alarming situation happened in Philippines. It is too easy to purchase children in Philippines. Philippine’s Pampanga province is famous for Philippines children market. From there, the Americans or Nursing ladies collected illegitimate children. Some children were taken as adoption and rest were went to the brothel! Besides that, children were also smuggled from back doors. Once an American documentary film director during his shooting saw a beautiful girl, aged 1 year, in Manila city. The Director decided that he would make the girl as a model and take her to United States. The American Director told the parents of the girl that, during her stay abroad 20 percent earning of her will be given them. And without thinking the illiterate and simple parents being agreed to that proposal and handed over their girl to that unknown person.
In another story, and Italian lady tourist saw an attractive child in the Kayvi province of Philippines. Then she collected a false birth certificate and claimed that this girl belongs to her as a legitimate child.
The children smugglers from Asia have different character. Among them, the number of child kidnappers are high. In Mlaysia and Indonesia gang of children kidnappers have been found. In Malakas of Malaysia two women have been given imprisonment because they kidnapped a two years old child and tried to sell the baby at 3 thousand 2 hundred dollar. For similar crime, a bill-collector couple at Panang got imprisonment as they tried to sell a 16 month old baby.
At the beginning of last year, a story was published about xxx a baby-girl for smuggling to Netherlands. This concerned xxx xxx that, xxx in this way huge number of children xxx have been smuggled.
As the kidnappers are directly reproachful in the eyes of the society, so the children smugglers performed their activities in different ways at various countries of Asia.
In the 20th century, the children smuggling from xxxx xx widely happened. This business was running openly. It was xxx that, before leaving Sri Lanka every foreigner assembled at the Colombo airport taking with a Srilanka child. Now the children smuggling slightly reduced in Srilanka, but it could not be stopped for the complicity of their law.
The Western thought that what did the harm to purchase children? As the children are getting neither food, education nor medicare. The Indonesians considered that the children of their country to rear up in abroad.
The poverty stricken children of Asia have paved the way easy for the smugglers. The children of those countries were selling like a cheap commodity but the self-respect of such countries must damage their image in the comittee of nations. Only for humanitarian ground, legally “adoption” could be accepted. But this problem could not be solved unless it is to be restricted completely. And for this reason poverty should be removed.