(By Man Yu Kyaw (Shwe Wa Land), Narinjara, September 19):
The number of trafficked individuals from Arakan is slowly increasing and this year the toll has reached to 22.
“Since January to second week of September 2014, 22 Arakanese fell into the trap of traffickers, but the good news is that all of them have been rescued,” said U Min Chit Oo, the administrative chief of Arakan State in western Burma, who also leads the anti-human trafficking mission.
Myanmar (also known as Burma) observed the anti-human trafficking day on September 13 at U Oattama Hall in Sittwe. The functions started at 9 am.
Arakan city and towns are not much vulnerable to the human traffickers compare to 40 other cities and other localities of Burma.
Even though, 13 local residents from Myaybon township and 9 individuals from Am township were trafficked in January this year.
According to U Min Chit Oo, the traffickers assured the victims around 4,00,000 Kyats per month before taking them to the undisclosed locations.
Soon they were brought to Thailand and all 22 Arakanese were sold to an agency based in Mahachai area of Bangkok. They were lucky that they were rescued by the Myanmar Embassy in Indonesia with the help of International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Indonesia’s anti-human trafficking police forces. By that time the trafficked Arakanese nationals were taken to Inpin seaport of Indonesia.
U Min Chit Oo argued that the Arakanese villagers were illiterate and they had no knowledge about the traffickers. Meanwhile, the trafficked persons were brought back to Sittwe on August 22 and sent to their respective native villages.
The root causes of the menace of human trafficking across the globe are understood to be the poverty, lack of awareness and insufficient administrative roles in various under-developed countries.
Attending the ceremony, one local leader emphasized on more awareness about the issue emerged as the curse on humanity in recent years. He also criticized the anti-human trafficking organizations for not doing enough for creating awareness about the traffickers and their evil activities.
Delivering his lecture, U Min Chit Oo also urged the anti-human trafficking organizations working in Arakan and other parts of Burma, to take effective programmes in association with the local authorities for the benefit of down-trodden people who are more vulnerable to the human traffickers.