In an earlier piece, we looked at the state of the Myanmar people fleeing the Rakhine state in southwestern Myanmar. The Rohingya people of western Myanmar are considered by many to be the most oppressed people group on the planet. In 2017 their mass exodus from tactics bordering upon genocide (if not surpassing that line) was brought on by the conflict between Rohingya resistance fighters and the Myanmar government brought the attention of the world onto this Southeastern nation.
But that is not the only humanitarian crisis taking shape in Myanmar.
Human Rights Watch released a significant 112-page report last week that details the extensive and terrible plight of the women in the northern Myanmar state of Kachin.
Since violence broke out in Myanmar in 2011 many of the men among this ethnic group have gone off to fight their oppressors. The women were left to provide for their homes. This and an insecure border with China to the north has produced a surge in sex slave trafficking. The women and young girls who were left behind in Kachin are the primary victims.
China’s “one-child policy” resulted in a massive imbalance between the demographic distribution of men and women in many areas of the populous country. Experts suggest there are as many as 30-40 million “missing” women in China as a result of the aggressive abortion and population management in the country. As a result, many eligible Chinese bachelors have little hope of marrying or having children. A human trafficking broker operates as a middleman between these Chinese families and those who kidnap the Kachin women.
Some women go willingly in an effort to provide for their families. In some instances, they are lured across the border by the promises and prospects of a short-term job that can benefit their families, only to learn much too late they have been deceived. Many more are taken by force. They awake from a hidden drugging and find themselves on a train in China, their broker standing guard over them.
The victims’ age ranges from their early teens to mid-20s. Their market values range from $3000-$13,000 depending upon their physical appearance and features.
They are informed that if they try to escape their hands and limbs will be cut off. The women are frequently locked in isolated rooms and their feeding is accompanied by brutal rapes from their captors.
The objective for the men and families who have purchased these women is to get them pregnant. In many instances, once they have produced a child they find it easier to escape and flee back across the border to their homes.