Recently, according to the reports of accidents and deaths of boat- people who were trying to go to Malaysia by sea. The accidents appear to be heartbreaking consequences for Rohingyas whose family members tried to choose the perilous routes by sea. Thousands of Rohingya people had been sent to Malaysia through these routes operated by some human trafficker groups.
These human trafficker groups – who station in Teknaf, Cox’s Bazar, Sharpor Dip, Chittagong and other border areas and Maungdaw and Buthidaung from Arakan- only see for their individual profits ignoring the innocent poor people. Sometimes, the boat-people were forced to land on the sea beach after driving for four or five days in the sea saying that the boat was arriving at Thailand or Malaysia. But the boat was landing at the seashore of Bangladesh and then the driver and leaders left the scene immediately leaving the boat people. These kinds of accident were also happened.
The human trafficker groups also used old and small boat which was cheap price, carrying the boat-people, when the boat reached far from the coast of Bangladesh, the driver or the leader of the boat deliberately sank the boat in the sea and they left to the coast by swimming with their safety rubber rings.
These human trafficker groups work dividing into three groups. The first group organizes poor and unemployed people. The second group collects money promising these people jobs in Malaysia and the third group approaches to the local authorities to get understanding by giving money. In this way, the voyagers were cheated, sometimes.
These human trafficker groups thus rob the innocent people giving hope that they will take them to Malaysia.
Typically young males between 16 and 40 years of age take to the boats leaving their families. The local people estimate that between 50 and 100 people leave by boat per week, this year.
These victims not only lose money but also die as the boats carrying them capsize almost regularly.
A boat-people who was recently saved from a sinking boat said that he was going to Malaysia but on the way the boat suddenly sank and he floated for hours before a fishing boat picked him up.
In similar way, another survivor reported that the boat was crowded with people and the boat agent collected Taka 22,000 to 25,000 per each for the journey to Malaysia before getting up into the boat.
Rohingyas, who face persecution in Burma, often make the perilous journey by sea to Thailand and Malaysia in search of better opportunities. But ultimately they are deprived of their hopes.
The Bangladesh authorities must act immediately to bring those human trafficker groups to justice.
The Burmese government should take a policy to provide better employment opportunities to these deprived Rohingya people who are willing to risk their lives to have a better job. To implement this policy, it is needed for international community to give pressure to the Burmese government. The Burmese government is also needed to lift up movement restriction order against the Rohingya community and to give them to access to do anything for their livelihood.