The Pervasiveness of the Rohingya Crisis.
By admin February 21, 2018

Source: The New York Time ( )The picture shows a young individual playing soccer in a Rohingya Refugee Camp in Bangladesh

In 1982, the state of Myanmar stripped the Rohingya people of citizenship. The Rohingya are a Muslim ethnic minority in the Rakhine state, and 1982 marks the beginning of the crisis of the Rohingya refugees that has gained significant coverage in recent news. For a prolonged time, the Myanmar state hid the systematic oppression of the Rohingya, silencing the abuses of Rakhine Buddhist mobs and the Burmese military.  Even the Nobel Peace prize recipient and Myanmar’s current State Counselor – a position similar to Prime Minister –  Aung Suu Kyi has been widely criticized first for her silence and on her rejection of the accusations against the military. But last year the violence against the Rohingya people increased dramatically, triggering a massive humanitarian security crisis for Myanmar’s neighboring countries and the rest of the international community.

Most of the abuses against the Rohingya people have been widely covered in the news. The violence of Rakhine Buddhist mobs and the military range from burning the geographical areas where the Rohingya live to what many have already denounced as “ethnic cleansing.” It is not surprising that in light of this systematic violence, the Rohingya people have been forced out of Myanmar, becoming one of the most significant current refugee populations alongside Syrians and Venezuelans. In the past year, the already established refugee camps for Rohingya people in countries like Bangladesh have seen an inflow of around 650,000 more refugees. This is a significant increase of forced migration which multiplies the already common problems around refugee populations.

One of the many problems of refugee populations, and particularly of the Rohingya people, is human trafficking. Human trafficking has been considered as an equivalent for modern slavery, and it becomes even more problematic under conditions of conflict. Women, and particularly girls, are the primary victims of human trafficking as they are the primary victims of armed conflict. Beyond suffering the devastation of military action, women also face rape and abduction. Sadly, for the Rohingya people this is now another pervasive challenge in their lives.

The challenge of human trafficking for the Rohingya refugee camps is caused by three main factors. First, there are networks of kidnappers taking advantage of the massive amount of children arriving to refugee camps. Estimates state that six out of every ten Rohingya individuals arriving to Bangladesh’s refugee camps are children. This gives kidnappers a significant advantage to successfully exploit the large population of children. Second, the massive influx of refugees in the recent months has created chaos within the refugee camps. It is easy for children to get lost in the camps, making it easier for networks to abuse their condition. Third, the precarious situation of the Rohingya people in general creates incentives for families to force their children into contracted labor. The risk with this type of activity is that children are often sold to human trafficking networks that take the Rohingya children out of camps in Bangladesh and then sell them in countries like India.

As if the rape, devastation, ethnic cleansing, human trafficking, and refugee status were not enough, the Rohingya also face the problem of statelessness. Since they have been stripped of citizenship by the Myanmar state, they do not have valid passports. Human traffickers move kidnapped girls through borders by underground networks. However, if these girls are lucky enough to survive human trafficking and reach safe houses in other countries, reuniting with their families is impossible. This is because neither mothers nor daughters have the necessary paperwork to move freely towards reunification, perpetuating not only a condition of suffering but also isolation for Rohingya girls and families. Like with many other conflicts around the world, the Rakhine humanitarian crisis presents pervasive and inescapable suffering for the Rohingya people, signaling the world’s late awareness towards their condition of systematic oppression.

For More See

Bangladesh: Trafficking of girls rife in Rohingya camps

Traffickers prey on lost Rohingya children in Bangladesh camps

UN warns of trafficking, sexual abuse in shadow of Rohingya refugee crisis

Tillerson: Myanmar clearly ‘ethnic cleansing’ the Rohingya

Aung San Suu Kyi ‘avoided’ discussion of Rohingya rape during UN meeting



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