Rape–another crime of human traffickers at sea | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 12, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, June 12, 2015

Editorial

Rape–another crime of human traffickers at sea

Myanmar and Malaysia must work together to stop this

An investigative report by this paper has unraveled the horrifying sexual abuse of Rohingya women while they make their perilous trips at sea. These women travel to Malaysia to join would-be husbands or brothers and fathers who have fled persecution in Myanmar. However, they are subjected to continuous sexual violence throughout the trip by the traffickers and their cohorts who often confine them later, in the slave camps of the destination points where the abuse resumes. 

The story of two such women who had been held at a transit camp in Malaysia for more than six months, becoming pregnant as a result of gang rape by the traffickers, shows how easily these criminals have been carrying out their diabolical activities in these slave camps.

Sexual violence is the latest human rights abuse on the long list of abuses by these trafficking rings which have the complicity of officials of the destination points that allows them to carry on their nefarious activities without getting caught. The physical and psychological trauma these women face are unimaginable. The international community, especially Myanmar, from where these victims are fleeing, and Malaysia, the destination point, must come forward to find ways to rescue these helpless women and catch these criminals who are guilty of kidnapping, torture, killing and now rape. 

Again, all this just points to the reality that Myanmar must put a stop to the persecution of Rohingya Muslims and give them the citizenship they rightfully deserve. That would significantly reduce the number of Rohingyas, including many women, fleeing their homeland and risking their lives in the process.

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