Malaysia: Migrant Women Sold Into Marriage By Smugglers

Young Rohingya women fleeing Myanmar to Malaysia to escape poverty and violence are unable to afford the fees demanded by smugglers and are sold into marriage to Rohingya men. Hundreds to thousands of women and girls have been forced, sold, or arranged for marriage via trafficking since 2012, considering it an imperative survival mechanism as many women fear an alternative of being raped or sold into sex work. Women are imprisoned in camps or held aboard ships in harsh conditions lacking food, water and other essentials until someone offers to pay their smugglers’ fees. Though many view marrying a man who can care for them as a better alternative, husbands are often older and poorer than promised and some women end up in unhappy or abusive relationships.



Compiled from: Barry, Ellen and Buckley, Chris, Rohingya Women Flee Violence Only to Be Sold Into Marriage, The New York Times (August 2, 2015).