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Burma Thailand Relations And Muslim Immigrants Essay

2204 words - 9 pages

According to the UN, Rohingya Muslims are one of the most persecuted minorities in the world. Due to clashes/conflicts between militant Muslims and Buddhists and poor economic conditions within Burma, many have fled the country, especially Rohingya Muslims primarily situated/centred around the conflict zones. Neighboring Thailand acts as an idealized “sanctuary” for the displaced refugees, though in reality even further abuse and exploitation occurs over the border due to the incompatibility of these stateless individuals with strict immigration and border policies. These offer neither protection nor social services for economically and socially disadvantaged migrants (talk about NGOs?). As a result, underhanded human trafficking and smuggling across the Burma-Thailand border has steadily increased, with the violation of human rights becoming a source for concern. Officials within both Thailand and Burma/Myanmar have acted in direct violation to international law by aiding and abetting traffickers involved in Thailand’s illicit sex industry (profit) and treating Rohingya Muslims inhumanely (detainment). The economic interests of transnational middlemen drive practices of both consensual smuggling and non-consensual trafficking from Burma to Thailand, while migration law, government corruption and humanitarian failures (NGOs) exacerbate instead of solve the problem.
Burma-Thailand relations, primarily economic and trade related, provide the foundation for transnational middlemen to engage in the human trade, especially with their constant movement between the two nations. These middlemen are highly mobile, and transgress values of loyalty and nationality, leading to an accountability problem, as it is so hard to track them down. These intermediaries are economically motivated authorities, traffickers, and recruiters who work in tandem to create a sex trafficking network. Economic and trade relations between the two countries in fact heighten under the table means of exchanging human commodities, as the middlemen operate as go-betweens for the supply and demand of the sex trade. Historically, the trade routes between the two countries have also been used by sex traffickers, as in the border crossings from southern Burma to Thailand and lead to exploitation sites such as Bangkok and Mae Sai.
Internal conflicts within Burma and along the border, while at times turbulent, benefit the sex traffickers who capitalize on the border clashes in order to raise their human trade index. Rohingya Muslims are trafficked or smuggled over from predominantly Buddhist Burma due to religious conflicts and persecutions in their home country. According to Human Rights Watch, Rohingya are denied citizenship status within their own country in addition to anti-Muslim violence, causing many economically disadvantaged Muslims pay middlemen to smuggle them across the border into Thailand, while those who cannot are often handed over to traffickers. However, once over the...

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