There are so many things that are happening in this world that you just don’t know about. So many people are going through unimaginable suffering and pain, just be thankful to God for the gift of life and freedom, because not everybody has the luxury of freedom. People from war torn nations do not have the gift of freedom like you do. It’s all about survival afterwards.
Early marriage is a very common practice among the Rohingya Muslims. With barely enough food to eat as they live in refugee camps, so many parents are left with no option but to force their young daughters into marriage, so that they can have less mouths to feed and also gain the support of their in-law.
Rohingya women are left with two choices to make; it’s either they remain in the refugee camp and starve, or they are shipped off to go and marry some guy that they have never met before, facing possible risks like r*pe, trafficking or even death.
Early marriage is very common among the Rohingya people in Myanmar. After an uprising escalated in their home, over 62,000 Rohingya people ran for their dear lives to Bangladesh. The major problem that they face in Bangladesh, is how to feed themselves because the food rations are not always enough. The UN has tried to educate the Rohingya children who they marry off to strangers, that they stand a great risked of getting trafficked. The situation is so bad that parents force their daughters as young as 11 years old into marriage, just to reduce the number of mouths to feed.
Men are marrying off their daughters to Rohingya men that are living in far away Malaysia, just to escape poverty. Their daughters are not only married to men that live far away. Even within the refugee camp, there are lots of marriages between the refugees.
The Guardian had the opportunity to interview dozens of teenage girls that have either been married off, or the ones that their parents were looking for husbands for them.
Only 25kg of rice is what’s allocated to each family in every two weeks , and many of their families are way larger than the capacity that 25kg of rice can feed. Most of the families are larger than 5 members.
The girls said that it is easier for them to get married in Bangladesh than back in Myanmar. Even though the legal age for marriage is 18 in Bangladesh, it’s one of the countries with the highest rate of child marriages in the world.
The refugee camp doesn’t have enough security for women. They live in shelters made of bamboo frames and plastic sheets, so there’s little or no privacy.
Most Rohingya men that smuggled themselves into Malaysia, are unable to get themselves Malaysian wives, so they prefer to smuggle themselves wives from Bangladesh Refugee camps, where their people reside.
Rohingya men in Malaysia don’t have the proper documentation to return back to the Refugee camps in Bangladesh or Myanmar for their wedding, so they send their marriage proposals through their friends and family to make the marriage plans, which doesn’t depend on the consent of the girl. According to an activist, over 1000 Rohingya girls are trafficked to Malaysia for marriage every year.
They are usually trafficked through the sea. On land, they change cars to avoid getting caught. Most times, the traffickers harass and rape the girls before they get to their destination.
Until the year 2015, there was a network of traffickers that terrorised the jungles of southern Thailand, where they would hold refugees for Ransome, before they would allow them to be smuggled to Malaysia. Many refugees were running to Malaysia because they believed that they would get jobs over there.
Thailand human trafficking is no longer as it used to be. This was after over 130 mass graves were discovered in some trafficking camps close to the Malaysian border.
Since then, the authorities have intensified their security measures by increasing their number of coast guards. It has been very effective as human trafficking has greatly reduced in the area.