Monday July 16, 2018
Home World Myanmar Woman...

Myanmar Woman May Khine Oo Shares Her Story of Human Trafficking to Prevent other Women from falling into the same trap

The United Nations has described Myanmar as a source country for human trafficking

0
//
62
Human trafficking in Myanmar
May Khine Oo, 30, stands in front of her family's grocery store in Mon state, Myanmar, July 20, 2017. VOA
Republish
Reprint
  • May Khine Oo was trafficked to China, where she was forced to get married twice
  • She wishes to share her story of human trafficking in a hope to protect other women
  • The International Rescue Committee charity gives her a small daily stipend for living expenses, and a village clinic is providing free checkups for her pregnancy.

Myanmar, August 24, 2017: The nightmare for May Khine Oo started on a trip home to Myanmar but lasted almost 13 years.

After visiting her grandmother in southern Mon state in the country’s southeast, May Khine Oo, 17 at the time, boarded a train for the state capital, Mawlamyine, to return to her parents in Mudon township.

On the train she met a couple who offered her a job, which she refused. She did, however, accept their offer of water, and next thing she knew she had fallen asleep and missed her stop, with no money to get back.

The couple suggested they could find her work to raise the funds needed to pay for a new ticket.

“I decided to accept their job for travel expenses to return home,” May Khine Oo told Myanmar Now, an independent website supported by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, adding that she now thinks the water had been drugged.

The couple took her to a local restaurant where she worked for three months, but instead of taking her back to her parents as promised, they then took her to a broker and she was sent to China.

May Khine Oo said over the next 13 years she was forced to marry twice. She had two children with her first husband and was pregnant from her second marriage when she fled after contacting a student group through the Chinese messaging service WeChat.

“I tried to flee many times, for many years,” she said. “But the foreignness of the communities made it difficult to do so and I was also afraid that my situation would get much worse elsewhere.”

While May Khine Oo’s ordeal is not uncommon, what is unusual is her determination to go public with her story to stop other young girls from falling into the same trap.

Forced to marry

The United Nations has described Myanmar as a source country for human trafficking. Police statistics show that 3,489 victims were rescued from 2006 to 2016, most of whom had been trafficked into marriages.

Also read: Pope Francis: Human trafficking is a Modern Form of Slavery and a True Crime Against Humanity

Prostitution accounted for the second-highest number of cases, followed by forced labor.

Police records show the top destination for trafficking victims from Myanmar is China, although the trade also exists in other countries in Southeast Asia, such as Thailand and Malaysia, and within Myanmar itself.

Myanmar was upgraded in June in the U.S. State Department’s Trafficking in Persons report to its Tier 2 watch list, which indicated that the country was making significant efforts to comply with U.S. standards to combat human trafficking.

Human rights groups, however, called the move premature, saying not enough was being done to stop this illegal trade.

Human trafficking story of Myanmar woman
May Khine Oo, 30, is pictured in front of her family’s grocery store in Mon state, Myanmar, July 20, 2017. VOA

“Preventive measures against trafficking in persons must be carried out systematically,” he said. “This crime is also happening in this country. But only serious cases are known to the public.”

Myanmar’s government passed a landmark Anti-Trafficking Law in 2005, which laid out hefty sentences for offenders. Cases that proceed to court are rare but have happened.

Myo Aung, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Labor, Immigration and Population, said one challenge is providing a strong alternative to the lucrative offers made by brokers.

“Potential victims do not heed education programs about trafficking,” he said. “Instead, they believe the enticements of illegal traffickers. As a result they cannot find help after becoming victims.”

Cautionary tale

On the local level, the fight is often about raising awareness.

Police Major Khin Maung Latt of Yangon’s Pazundaung township recommends a more aggressive approach to the information battle.

He said his officers cooperate with nongovernmental organizations to disseminate pamphlets, using a “door-to-door system.”

“It is more effective than formal educative talks,” he said, adding that residents should inform police if they are approached by brokers. “It is a preventive measure against liars. Prevention is better than the cure.”

Also read: Nepali Woman scales Mt Everest with the message to fight against human trafficking

After her case was reported, May Khine Oo was found by Chinese authorities and handed over to the Myanmar Police Force’s Anti-Trafficking unit in Ruili in China’s Yunnan province.

She moved back to her parents in Mudon, leaving her two children in China, and started to rebuild her life, receiving a grant from the Social Welfare Department to set up a grocery store.

The International Rescue Committee charity gives her a small daily stipend for living expenses, and a village clinic is providing free checkups for her pregnancy.

She has also filed a complaint with the police in the hope that they can find the couple who duped her on the train, and is spreading her own story locally as a cautionary tale.

“I would like to suggest to all parents not to allow their children to travel without close adult family members,” she said. “Using my experience as an example, I tell the girls not to blindly trust others.” (VOA)

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2017 NewsGram

Next Story

At St. Teresa Charity Home, Out Of 450 Births Only 170 Are In Record

According to police, the incident is a case of human trafficking and they are trying to reach its roots.

0
450 pregnant women were admitted in various homes, but there are records of only 170 childbirths and no information about the remaining 280.
450 pregnant women were admitted in various homes, but there are records of only 170 childbirths and no information about the remaining 280. Pixabay

450 pregnant women were admitted in various homes, run by the order founded by St Teresa, here between 2015 and 2018, but there are records of only 170 childbirths and no information about the remaining 280.

Ranchi : The Missionaries of Charity, which is facing charges of selling newborns to childless couples, has not been able to provide records of births by 280 women at its various homes here, police said on Saturday.

According to police sources, 450 pregnant women were admitted in various homes, run by the order founded by St Teresa, here between 2015 and 2018, but there are records of only 170 childbirths and no information about the remaining 280.

“We are investigating all angles of the sale of children to childless couple. We have gone through records of the pregnant women and newborn babies. There are discrepancies in the records,” a police official investigating the case told IANS.

Motherhouse" at Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity.
Mother Teresa looking after the poor children. Flickr

The scam came to light when the couple, who had taken a newborn from the charity home in May, complained that they had paid Rs 1.20 lakh for medical care and delivery of the child, but the baby was taken back by the charity home with assurances of returning it back after court procedures.

The couple complained to the Child Welfare Society after they failed to get the child.

According to police, the incident is a case of human trafficking and they are trying to reach its roots.

Also read: Mother Teresa: Saint or Fraud? Five controversial facts about her

A mentally challenged women, staying in a Missionaries of Charity facility on Jail Road here, delivered a baby on Friday but sisters at the home insisted that the newborn should be left there only, the woman’s mother alleged. (IANS)