This is today’s news from me to you.
Like usual I am in Thailand, working again.
More people than ever risk their lives on the trafficker’s boats along the cost and the rivers from Bangladesh and Myanmar. Based on local observations and media around 54.000 people have taken the life threatening journey that they believe will improve their lives. A story they heard from human smugglers. Almost 53.000 of these have Thailand and Malaysia as their target.
Most of them are transported between October to March, but during October this year the transports have doubled compared to last year. About 21.000 are Rohingya (an ethnic group, google and read more) and Bangla that takes the chance and of these about 10 % are women. If they are young they will most definitely be sold to brothels in Thailand. Many under 18 and children take the trip without families or anyone who could possibly be of some kind of protection.
Totally about 120.000 people has been shipped off like this, out on the ocean against a payment of 1500 to 2500 dollars. The trafficker’s has earned overwhelming sums on this, over 200 million dollars.
If there is room on the boats, which it almost always is, men, women and children are kidnapped. Mostly young women. With a gun to their heads they are forced on the boats.
The circumstances on the boats are disgusting, as you can imagine. No water, no toilets, no food and if anyone complains they are beat up, often with a deadly outcome. It is believed that up to 600-700 persons have to leave the boats like this, to float ashore on a beach in Thailand.
In Thailand there are those who want’s to tell about this, to the UNHCR’s staff. About how they are transported in small ships and brought ashore to small camps where they have been held captive, men and women divided in different camps.
Apart from the women being systematically raped they were forced to call their families, asking for more money so that their lives would be a tiny bit more tolerable.
This is trafficking without anything like it in this region, and what do we do? We could at least help to spread the knowledge about this, not just read what I write and then give up with a pale sigh.
Regards Staffan, who is now returning to safe Sweden.