Thursday, August 07, 2008

New Study Released on Human Trafficking in Burma


August 5, 2008

Economic hardship and poverty have caused several young women in Burma, particularly in regions where ethnic minorities are residing, to be an easy prey of human trafficking, an ethnic Kachin women group said in a new report.

The Thailand based Kachin Women's Association of Thailand (KWAT) in a new report release today reveal that several young women from northern Burma's Kachin state are being sold by traffickers to Chinese men, who forcibly marry them or use them as maids and slaves.

The report titled 'Eastward Bound', which is based on interviews with 163 human trafficking victims from 2004 to 2007, said nearly 37 per cent of the trafficked women ended up as wives of Chinese men, while about 4 percent are sold as housemaids or to the sex industry.

Julia, who did the research on the report said, about 64 percent of the women trafficked are missing while about 17 percent are found to have made their way home back after escaping from the traffickers.

She said, most of the women trafficked are below the age of 18 and are made vulnerable to traffickers due to difficult economic conditions at home to keep them and their families alive.

Julia said several of the girls are sold while they are working to earn a living for themselves or for their families, or while seeking for jobs, due to severe economic conditions at home.

While several girls are smuggle from Burma to China by the traffickers, many of the girls left their hometown voluntarily and migrate in search of better jobs and better living, the report said.

Shirley Seng, spokeswoman of KWAT said, the main causes of human trafficking are economic hardship and deterioration, fear of human rights violations committed by the military junta and forced relocation.

She also added that rising commodity prices has also become a major driving force to young women to migrate.

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