Rohingya girls’ agony deepened by forced child marriages

Rohingya girls’ agony deepened by forced child marriages

  • Published on
    December 13, 2023
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  • Category:
    Forced Marriage
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Warning: The original article is upsetting and may trigger some readers.

The Rohingya people have had to endure agony for years: statelessness, poverty, hunger, persecution, and military attacks – and now forced child marriage is on the rise. ABC News shares the stories of Rohingya girls who are sold into marriage to Malaysia as the only chance for them and their families to survive.

Childhoods ended through forced marriages

Fourteen-year-old M* was trafficked through Myanmar and Thailand to be married to a 35-year-old man. On her journey, she was beaten, raped, and abused several times. Now, her husband rapes her almost every night, trying to impregnate her against her will.

It wasn’t her choice. None of this was. Not the decision to leave behind everything she knew, nor the arranged marriage for which she was not ready.

Before coming to Malaysia, 13-year-old T* used to play with her friends in Bangladesh’s refugee camps. Today, she is married to a 27-year-old man who prohibits her from leaving the house. Since the wedding night, he has regularly raped her, impatiently waiting for T to get pregnant.

For 16-year-old S*, this nightmare has become a reality – she is seven months pregnant. Her 25-year-old husband divorced her when he found out, leaving her begging on the street.

“From the moment we are born, every day we face difficulty after difficulty.” – S

Excruciating vulnerabilities of Rohingya girls

The vulnerability of Rohingya girls is multifaceted, rooted in the confluence of dire circumstances in Myanmar, limited options in neighboring Bangladesh, and the absence of legal protections in Malaysia. Escaping violence and persecution in Myanmar, many families resort to selling their daughters to Malaysia for arranged marriages.

Subjected to harrowing journeys marked by human trafficking, violence, and sexual abuse, the girls find themselves in situations where control and abuse persist. Moreover, the absence of legal status in Malaysia, coupled with the country’s non-signatory status to the U.N. refugee convention, further deters them from reporting assaults. This perpetuates a cycle of exploitation and suffering.

Take action now!

Join the fight to end forced child marriage for Rohingya girls and children all over the world!

*Names changed to first initial in the original story.


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6 months ago

in 2023 and children are subject to this insanity…all these men are pedophiles and should be in prison!!!!!!!!! Free these innocent girls and arrest all these men!

Kate huthnance
Kate huthnance
6 months ago

It seems these beautiful young girls are looked upon as nothing more than a piece of meat from a dead animal. Even meat to be eaten had more value than a young female human life. Where did this disregard start? Why hasn’t it ended in these modern times. Even wild female animals choose whether they want to mate or not. It is not the powerful male who has the privilege to take what is not his!

Judith Sockloff
Judith Sockloff
6 months ago

Can’t something be done to help these people? This is horrible!

Gerard Flood
Gerard Flood
6 months ago

Why do you not identify the CCP and its PRC as the prime source of these horrific atrocities emanating from Burma? The CCP is the hegemonic power in Burma. The demise of the CCP is the threshold event for the possibilities of saving vast populations from officially-organised persecution, vast cruelties and atrocities, including slavery.

6 months ago

“Escaping violence and persecution in Myanmar, many families resort to sending their daughters to Malaysia for arranged marriages.” They are not “sending” their daughters; they are selling them to men for marriage. Are there no jobs for men in a family in Myanmar?

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