Mother forced to sell child

May 8, 2009 (DVB), A young mother from Burma's eastern Karen state has been forced to sell her child after suffering severe financial hardship following the death of her husband, say a Mon human rights organization.

Twenty-one year old Mi Ma Aye (whose name has been changed for security reasons) spoke of her pain after having been forced to sell her one-year-old daughter for 30,000 kyat ($US30).

The incident was reported on Wednesday by the Women and Child Rights Project of the Human Rights Foundation of Monland.

"My husband was killed by strangers and my mother was in the hospital," said Mi Ma Aye.

"My family is very poor and we couldn't afford to pay her medical bills. So I had no options until I sold my one year and three-month-old daughter for what I hoped would be 50,000 kyat [$US50]."

A family in Pa-an township, 48 hours walk from Mi Ma Aye's village, agreed to adopt the child for 30,000 kyat on condition that she relinquish all rights and familial connections to the child.

According to the report, this isn't an isolated case.

"Over the past several years instances of families trying to sell their children so they can survive has been on the rise," it said, adding that some locals in Pa-an suspect the sales come from a group of women working together to sell children that are not theirs.

Mi Khaing Khaing, a villager from Pa-an township, told the WCRP that his father had been trying to adopt a three-year-old child.

"He [rethinked] this plan after he became afraid that the children who are being sold might have been kidnapped from their legitimate families," he said.

Reporting by Francis Wade

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