In northern Malaysia, human traffickers were discovered holding Rohingya Muslims prisoner in houses. According to details from the prisoners, they were abused, demanding to be freed by ransom from their families and suffering from severe malnutrition.
Rohingya are Muslims from Burma and are one of the most oppressed minorities in the world; many have been killed and many have been forced to live the life of a refugee because of the violent mistreatment.
This is, unfortunately, far from the first human trafficking case this year.
Several raids on Malaysian houses have been organized within the past few months, one of which conducted in February, found four Rohingya men chained together in an apartment by iron links. These men had been attempting to flee Myanmar when human traffickers captured them as they attempted to escape by water.
These men were then caged, where they were not fed and suffered from severe malnourishment.
Relatives of the prisoners were willing to pay upwards of a $1,000 in order to have their family members released.
According to Reuters, Thai police said they also rescued hundred of Rohingya Muslims in January from a trafficking camp south of Thailand. The raid that prompted the rescue of the captives was part of an investigation to find those in charge of the human trafficking that keeps occurring through southern Thailand through Malaysia.
During the raid in January, three Thai males of whom police suspected to be ringleaders were arrested.
Malaysia is concerned that these most recent events will compromise their anti-human trafficking record and expose the insecurity of their borders, which is currently allowing thousands of illegal immigrants across despite the strong stance the Malaysian government has against illegal immigration.
In June, the United States State Department will be releasing a Trafficking In Persons report, which lists countries in order of their performance to counter human trafficking.
– Rebecca Felcon