lunes, 28 de diciembre de 2009

El tráfico de los niños soldados por la Junta Militar Birmana

A few days ago, a news article reported a story on MTV documentary to raise awareness of human trafficking in Myanmar. The documentary was produced in support of USAIDS and was reported to be broadcast through several channels in Myanmar TV stations. The Myanmar regime has shown increasing efforts to fight against human trafficking of the Burmese women. The military junta closed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with its neighboring countries including China and Thailand to fight against human trafficking. [1] According to a recent report, the military junta also claims to rescue 1000 victims of human trafficking since the year 2005. [2] The same report also stated that more than 1100 traffickers were arrested in connection with 400 trafficking cases according to the regime's agency. [3]

Military junta: fighting against human trafficking on its own convenience

Simultaneously, the regime also decided to increase the recruitment of child soldiers before the upcoming election. [4] Though many people picture a trafficking victim as a young girl or women who are forced into prostitution, the case of the child soldier recruitment in Myanmar precisely falls into the UN protocol definition of human trafficking in person: [5]

Trafficking in persons” shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs;

(b) The consent of a victim of trafficking in persons to the intended exploitation set forth in subparagraph (a) of this article shall be irrelevant where any of the means set forth in subparagraph (a) have been used;

(c) The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of a child for the purpose of exploitation shall be considered “trafficking in persons” even if this does not involve any of the means set forth in subparagraph (a) of this article;

(d) “Child” shall mean any person under eighteen years of age.

According to a report, the family of child soldiers receive food and money in exchange of their children's military services. [6] In other words, the children are recruited for the purpose of exploitation by the military junta by purchasing food and money to their family members. Does this sound familiar?

So, do not be fooled by the media saying that the military junta is fighting against human trafficking. Keep in mind that the military junta has used the anti-human trafficking legislation as a mechanism to oppress the rights of innocent Burmese according to a nonprofit organization reports. [7] The military regime may be interested in sex trafficking victims, but it'll try to change the subject when talking about the recruitment of child solider issues.