Mass Grave Links To Human Trafficking In Thailand

Human trafficking in Thailand has become a huge issue as more people go there to escape unrest in Myanmar and Bangladesh. Many become forced laborers and are consequently used for sexual exploitation. Recently, a mass grave, believed to hold Rohingya Muslims, was discovered in a jungle camp by Thailand authorities; according to reports, the group was kept for ransom in cages and then abandoned by smugglers. The bodies, totaling more than fifty, have already started to decay.

Rohingya Muslims Fleeing From Human Trafficking In Thailand

The Rohingya Muslims, who migrated by boat from Myanmar and Bangladesh, are victims to the majority of human trafficking that occurs in the area. Escaping survivors state that trafficking is forced and even encouraged by immigration officers. According to one individual, more than sixteen people have passed away within the last fourteen days. Amongst this cruelty, the Rohingya women are also being raped and children are barely surviving due to little food and water. The very few people who do escape are often found, beaten and killed.

The camps all thrive around the village of Baan Chung, and hold over 1,500 Rohingya people. Armed guards surround the camp now, protecting it from intruders and preserving the area for forensic teams. The massive grave, located in Sadao district (in Songkhla province bordering Malaysia), was discovered by authorities cracking down on human trafficking in Thailand. Sathit Thamsuwan was one of the rescue workers who first stumbled upon the gravesite.

At the moment, a few bodies are being sent to the hospital for autopsies in order to determine the nature of death. So far, thirty-two graves, four bodies, and one emaciated man have been discovered. General Somyot Poompanmoung, the police chief in charge, refers to the graves as prison camps. It is believed this site was left behind when smugglers moved across the border to Malaysia. The crackdown from Thai authorities has now forced smugglers into hiding and has lessened the camps significantly.

Human trafficking in Thailand is a growing issue. For a bit of context, here is a look into Bangladesh: