Dhaka: It has been revealed that Rohingya refugee children are trafficked for sex. As reported by the BBC Investigation Team, after the Muslim genocide of Rohingya Muslims, lakhs of refugees including women and children have reached Bangladesh. The orphan children who do not have any family member of their own are forced into prostitution. Girls are trafficked outside the country.
The report of the BBC team which carried out the investigation revealed that children and parents are offered jobs abroad and in the capital Dhaka as maids, as hotel staff and kitchen workers. While offering a chance of a better life to desperate families they are deployed into the sex industry by the traffickers.
BBC has quoted Masuda, 14, as saying, “I knew what was going to happen to me. The woman who offered me a job, everyone knows she makes people have sex. She is a Rohingya here for a long time, we know her. But I didn’t have a choice. There is nothing for me here. My family has disappeared. I have no money. I was raped in Myanmar. I used to play in the forest with my brother and sister. Now I don’t remember how to play.”
BBC investigation team posed themselves as foreigners looking for sex. Within 48 hours they got the telephone numbers of local pimps. The team expressed their wish to have young Rohingya girls. On which they were told ‘they have many Rohingya girls but they are the dirtiest’. Rohingya girls were considered the least desirable and the cheapest available.
A network of pimps offered a number of girls between 13 and 17. It was found that many of the girls live with the pimps’ families. When they are not with a client, they are often cooking or cleaning.
The BBC team did recording and surveillance and presented the evidence to the local police. The pimp was very well-known by the police. The girls caught in the sting operation appeared torn between poverty and prostitution – they said that without the sex work they would not be able to provide for themselves or their families.
Rohingya children are also taken to Chittagong and Dhaka in Bangladesh, Kathmandu in Nepal and Kolkata in India. In Kolkata’s booming sex industry, they are given Indian identity cards and absorbed into the system, their identities lost.
A network of traffickers, pimps, brokers and transporters in Bangladesh supply women and children for sex both online and offline.