Rohingya Girls Are Being Trafficked

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Rohingya Girls Are Being Trafficked

Trafficking and sexual abuse are rife among Rohingya refugees fleeing the troubled lands of Myanmar, the UN’s International Organization for Migration has found last November. Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugee Muslims are ‘at the mercy human traffickers’, who are on a drive to lure young, vulnerable girls with a happily-ever-after dream and sell them in India for just 20000 (single) or 15000 (married) Indian rupees.

Understanding the scope of human trafficking is difficult in most settings due to the hidden nature of the crime,” said Kateryna Ardanyan, a counter-trafficking expert of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), in a press release on November, 2017.

In the chaos of a crisis like this, trafficking is usually invisible at first, as there are so many other urgent needs like food and shelter. But agencies responding to this crisis should not wait until the number of identified victims increases,” she added.

Common Story

At 15, Raheema (name changed) left her home and life at Rakhine state in Myanmar and crossed two international borders only to be sold to a man in India who was a few years younger than her father.

“He had asked the agent if I was married before. I was single so he bought me for 20,000 Indian rupees (about $300). Married women go for 15,000 rupees,” Raheema shared. “He would beat me up with electrical wires and not let me leave, saying he had bought me,” she added softly, who now lives in a safe house in Northern India along with other Rohingya Muslim victims who have fled Myanmar.

Raheema’s story is not uncommon within the makeshift dingy safe-houses or camps in Haryana, India. Amidst the harrowing refugee crisis, around 6, 60,000 Rohingyas had to flee Myanmar’s Rakhine state since late August, 2017 and seek refuge in neighboring countries like Bangladesh and India only to realize later that here too they would become victims of sexual harassment and abuse. Some of the girls were honey trapped by the agents, while some were sold off by their own parents for food.

A few years ago, Rohingyas started to migrate to India and at present about 40,000 Rohingya Muslims are living in India, mostly congregated in Haryana state.

Help the Rohingyas

While the fastest growing refugee disaster of the world is unfolding its claws of destruction, Rohingya victims of mass exodus needs our attention right now. Mostly the women, who make a substantial part of the displaced population has to bear the maximum brunt of the escalating genocide-like situation, unfolding across South Asia.

Here are some ways in which organizations in collaboration with governments can help soothe the on-going Rohingya refugee crisis:

  • Relief organizations need to address the acute hygiene and sanitation problems in temporary camps, where women and girls live in destitute. Due to lack of electricity, latrines and clean water, women have to venture out in the dark to urinate, leaving them susceptible to violence, disease and harassment.

  • Health care and medical facilities need to be improved. Availability of feminine hygiene products needs to be ensured. Proper attention should be given to pregnant women and their newborns.

  • After the Syrian refugee crisis and others, we are aware how emotionally traumatized the women and girls feel after being forcibly displaced from their homeland. Also, often a fresh risk of abuse still lurks around them in new makeshift refugee camps – and they easily become vulnerable to sexual exploitation and trafficking. To put a stop to this, the UN, EU, International Aid Organizations and governments of several nations are trying to come together and offer assistance to relieve refugee sufferings.

Here is a list of NGOS that are helping Rohingya victims:

  • Red Crescent Society of India is sending relief to the makeshift camps in Myanmar-Bangladesh border to help Rohingya victims.

  • Sikh volunteers from Khalsa Aid, India penetrated into Bangladesh-Myanmar border to provide assistance and langar to the deprived refugees.

  • As a noble initiative, Zakaat Foundation, a Delhi-based NGO is found giving a small patch of land temporarily to the displaced Rohingya victims to support resettlement and rehabilitation program for the refugees.

  • IOM, the United Nation’s migration agency looks after the temporary camps and shelters in Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh. Besides offering proper healthcare and sanitation, they are amplifying their efforts to protect women and girls from the pernicious claws of trafficking.

  • BRAC is tagged being the No. 1 nongovernmental organization in the world. With a pool of 1300 staff members, they are serving Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh.

Despite such gross human rights abuses by the authorities and civilians, we can’t lose hope. Hope keeps us alive. On this note, let’s bring Help and Hope in the lives of victims; every step taken towards ending humanitarian catastrophic events is regarded as the best weapon against the perpetrators. Every decision, every strategy is a step towards ending human suffering and germinating seeds of a free society.

Join us to be a significant part of the good force and commit yourself to bringing happiness in the lives of others. To render your support, come share this article and spread the flame of positivity around.

To Help Rohingya Victims