Thursday, June 6, 2013

Kachin conflict ‘perfect storm’ for human trafficking

A new report by a Kachin women’s group says that the ongoing conflict in northern Myanmar between government forces and the Kachin Independence army (KIA) has created what they have termed “a perfect storm” of conditions for human trafficking along the Sino-Myanmar border.
The report, titled “Pushed to the Brink,” was launched on June 5 by the Kachin Women’s Association Thailand (KWAT). It details how the displacement of over 100,000 people over the past two years, a lack of refugee protection, and shortages of humanitarian aid have become significant new “push factors” fuelling the trafficking of Kachin women to China, already a long-standing problem.
KWAT’s report includes 24 actual or suspected trafficking cases from Kachin border areas since the resumption of fighting in June 2011, mostly involving young women and girls displaced by the war, who have been tricked, drugged, raped, and sold to Chinese men or families as brides or bonded laborers for as much as 40,000 Yuan (about US$6,500) each. Some ended up as far east as Shandong and Fujian provinces, KWAT says.
“Push tens of thousands of people to China’s doorstep, deprive them of food and status, and you’ve created a perfect storm for human trafficking,” said Julia Marip, KWAT spokesperson.