Tricked, trafficked, traded: Contained in the Rohingya commerce


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They witnessed their families being murdered and their properties burned to the bottom in what the UN calls  a « textbook example of ethnic cleansing ». 

With most efficient the garments they had been wearing, tons of of 1000’s of Rohingya Muslims fled their villages in Myanmar making an strive to rep refuge in Bangladesh.

However hidden boring closed doors in the sprawling refugee camps, many Rohingya women folk and girls proceed to be exploited and abused.

In accordance with UN estimates, women folk and girls stand up two-thirds of the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.

Al Jazeera’s One zero one East went to study how women folk are being trafficked, tricked and traded amid the chaos of Bangladesh’s crowded camps.

Fatima, 15, child bride: ‘I cannot affirm no’


Fatima aloof remembers the day in August 2017, when troopers from the Myanmar militia came to her village – and all the pieces changed.

« I at possibility of hang out with my pals, inserting on make-up, browsing for garments and eating. We’d chat with pals and family, snigger and revel in ourselves, » she says.

Fatima: ‘I make no longer web to web married’

About a months on, she stands in her family’s hut in Kutupalong refugee camp on Bangladesh’s border with Myanmar. Her palms are decorated with henna, drawn in preparation for her wedding.

She has never met her future husband.

Whereas child marriage is general in the Rohingya community, Fatima critical to support. However her father says he doesn’t web the money to gather her.

« They didn’t request from me and I didn’t affirm the leisure. However irrespective of decision they internet, I in actuality web to follow. I cannot hasten against it. I cannot affirm ‘no.' »

Fatima is distraught as she is dressed for her wedding. Quickly, she can be escorted from her home to her in-rules’ rental for the ceremony. She will be able to stay with them for the leisure of her life, caring for her husband’s family.

« I feel very sad. How can I hasten to somebody else’s rental and stay my life? I will omit my family. »

Fatima’s father: ‘Or no longer it is safer for our women to web married’



Shrimp one marriage is general in the Rohingya community, and Fatima’s father agreed to marry his 15-yr-outdated daughter off because he’ll web one less mouth to feed.

« When she’s married there’ll be less burden on me, because now we web to gather her garments and other things. Or no longer it is no longer predominant for a girl to be 18. I in actuality web to web her married – whether or no longer she is 15, 17 or 18. There would possibly maybe be no longer any advantage in holding women, » he says.

And since the family fled their home in Myanmar and came to the crowded refugee camp in Bangladesh, he has moreover change into alive to with their security.

« The camp’s listed below are so crowded. As dad and mother, we feel it be unprecedented safer for our women to web married fleet to avoid any kinds of incidents. I’m disquieted of the boys. You never know what would possibly maybe well well also happen. They would possibly maybe well also settle my daughter away and that is also vulgar for me. »

‘Sharifa’, 14, intercourse worker: ‘So unprecedented pain in my heart


One of the most Rohingya women close up in Cox’s Bazaar, a vacationer town no longer removed from the refugee camps which is infamous for its thriving intercourse commerce.

‘Sharifa’ (which is rarely her true establish) fled her village in Myanmar after she saw troopers gang-rape and homicide her two sisters. She says she moreover witnessed them slaughter her father and brother.

Traumatised, ‘Sharifa’ escaped to Bangladesh with her mother and final siblings. Sooner than they reached the refugee camps, they had been befriended by a Rohingya woman who promised to rep ‘Sharifa’ a job as a cleaner.

‘Sharifa’: A lifetime of abuse and exploitation

As a substitute, the girl grew to alter into her pimp.

« She educated me that I was going to a persons’ rental to desirable. I acknowledged, ‘Optimistic, I hasten to head’. After I purchased there, there used to be a particular person and I was disquieted of him.

« I felt so sad. I had so unprecedented pain in my heart. My head damage and I was disquieted that my family would discover.

The pimp pays ‘Sharifa’ $Three a buyer and controls her each stride. She feels she has no preference but to proceed working to originate for her family.

« She educated me that when somebody calls I web to head the keep they need and pause irrespective of they affirm. I correct pause what they expose me. We make no longer web any money or the leisure. My mother and brother are both sick, » she says.

« I web how I will explore again. How can I be a factual particular person?… How long pause I in actuality web to gather going to prospects’ houses? »

Pimp: ‘We target discouraged women who are factual-taking a watch’


Many Rohingya women delight in ‘Sharifa’ are being forced or tricked into prostitution, and it looks that the recent influx of refugees from Myanmar has fuelled the intercourse commerce in Bangladesh. 

One zero one East meets a pimp who has been working in the intercourse commerce for 2 years. He says most of his prospects are Bangladeshi businessmen, vacationers and locals.

« Our prospects opt Rohingya women who web correct arrived and moreover very younger women. They delight in gorgeous and presentable women. » 

He explains how they trick the women into a life of exploitation: « We target women who most efficient web a single guardian, women with most efficient a father or mother. We moreover target discouraged women who are factual-taking a watch … We contend with them to tea and snacks and in the slay we expose them that we can web them a job to enhance their family …

« They near because they make no longer web one other possibility. »

Johara, 17, kidnap sufferer: ‘I stay in dread now’


Johara Begum walked by dense woodland for 2 weeks with out food or water to web away attacks from the Myanmar militia on her village.

When she arrived in Bangladesh’s overcrowded refugee camps, one other Rohingya woman befriended her and supplied to show her around the camp. As a substitute, Johara used to be kidnapped and held hostage whereas the girl organized to promote her.

Johara: ‘I’m too scared to even sleep’

« They set me in one other room. They blindfolded me and toddle my mouth. I was wearing earrings and a hoop from Myanmar, which my mother had given me. They critical my jewellery and after I resisted they beat me, » she says.

Johara’s mother managed to rescue her sooner than she used to be trafficked, but now she lives in fixed dread that they’ll shut aid for her daughter.

« I stay in dread now. Most steadily so unprecedented that I cannot keep up a correspondence. I never hasten out. I’m too scared to even sleep. »

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