After Husaina’s 20-year-old son fled poverty and discrimination in Burma’s Arakan State by boat, she heard nothing from him for seven months.
The number of migrants leaving Burma by boat in the past four months has plummeted because of Thai and Bangladeshi crackdowns on trafficking, the UN said.
Burma does not consider the Rohingya citizens, rendering them effectively stateless, while denying it discriminates against them or that they are fleeing persecution.
Burmese authorities repatriated 48 Bangladeshi victims of human trafficking on 2 December, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The group had been held in immigration detention for several months.
U.S. lawmakers and rights groups allege that the Obama Administration ignored Malaysia’s abuse of trafficking victims to secure a trade deal.
People smugglers are exploring new routes to Malaysia after a Thai crackdown on trafficking, with few migrant boat departures from Burma in some six months.