Sold into marriage: How Rohingya girls become child brides in Malaysia

Source: Reuters via The Malay Mail Online

Under Islamic law, Muslim girls under 16 can marry with permission from the Shariah court, though in the case of the Rohingya marriages in Malaysia there is no court involvement. — Reuters pic

Under Islamic law, Muslim girls under 16 can marry with permission from the Shariah court, though in the case of the Rohingya marriages in Malaysia there is no court involvement. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 15 — The slight girl in a turquoise headscarf held back tears as she recalled what happened when she fled to Malaysia from Myanmar’s violence-hit Rakhine state. Just 12-years-old at the time, she was forced to wed a man she did not know, and who was more than a decade older than her.

The teenager, who is not being named by Reuters because she is still only 13, is like hundreds of Rohingya girls escaping persecution, violence and apartheid-like conditions in Rakhine, only to be sold into marriage to Rohingya men in neighbouring Malaysia, migrant groups and community members said.

Separated from her family while escaping to Malaysia, she said she was caught by traffickers and held for weeks in a filthy and brutal jungle camp near the Thai-Malaysian border with dozens of others. Her captors told her a Rohingya man was willing to give her freedom if she agreed to marry him.

“The (trafficking) agent said I had been sold to a man and I asked, how could do they do that?… My heart was heavy and I was scared,” the girl said in an interview in Kuala Lumpur. Read more

Myanmar police nab 93 for trafficking offences

Source: The Malay Mail Online

In recent years tens of thousands of Rohingya have left, fleeing on often deadly voyages across the Bay of Bengal at the hands of ruthless people-smuggling and trafficking networks. — Reuters pic

In recent years tens of thousands of Rohingya have left, fleeing on often deadly voyages across the Bay of Bengal at the hands of ruthless people-smuggling and trafficking networks. — Reuters pic

YANGON, June 8 — Myanmar police have arrested more than 90 people for human trafficking offences this year, media reported today, but no cases have been uncovered in Rakhine state where persecuted Rohingya have fled in droves.

Police gave a breakdown of their anti-trafficking activities with 56 cases recorded between January and May, the Global New Light of Myanmar reported, citing police captain Min Naing.

The report added that police had made 93 arrests over the last five months.

“Most Myanmar victims were sold into forced marriages in China and forced labour in Thailand,” the report said. Read more