As it often happens in the subcontinent, the poor, helpless and vulnerable young girls are driven to prostitution. This is exactly what is happening with the Rohingyas in their refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Sheikh Hasina’s government in Dhaka has indeed done a noble deed of providing shelter to the hapless Rohingyas. However, food, clothing, and shelter cannot be the ultimate need of human beings. If a girl lives in utter shame with all her dignity lost, languish in frustration of her life being converted from a family oriented one to that of being a prostitute; this existence probably is worse than death! Unfortunately, that is what is happening to Rohingya girls with their world turned upside down.
Take the case of Anwara, a fourteen-year-old girl has lost her family searched for help on the road to Bangladesh. “Women came with a van. They asked me if I’d go with them.”
They promised a new and safe life and took her to Cox’s Bazar, which was the nearest city.
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“Not long after that, they brought two boys to me. They showed me a knife and punched me in my tummy and beat me because I wasn’t co-operating. Then the boys raped me. I wasn’t willing to have sex but they kept going.”
In a country, where calling the enforcement of law and order is loose to says the least, benchmarking with western law order scenario, the sex trade is a vibrant one with a healthy supply and huge demand. The Rohingyas are simply adding to the supply side of the trade.
The Rohingya girls are victims not only in Cox’s Bazar but also trafficked to other cities of Bangladesh such as Chittagong and the capital Dhaka. These girls are taken away to Kathmandu in Nepal and Kolkata in India. Kolkata has booming sex market, where these girls are absorbed and thereby ensures that they lose their identity forever.
The international bodies, such as the affiliated bodies of United Nation should send resources to the government of Bangladesh as the highest priority to provide administrative protection to these vulnerable Rohingyas. The girls that have already been victims should be rescued from the racket and admitted to the care centers. Here, they would be able to overcome the trauma and anxiety with mental support and treatment provided to them. A dire situation developing in the refugee camps of Cox’s Bazar that needs immediate intervention.