Preventing Sex Trafficking in Bangladeshi Refugee Camps: The Case For The Rohingya People

CATW International October 12, 2017

Photo Credit: digital.democracy/Flickr via PhotoPin Creative Commons License


A genocide of Myanmar's Rohingya people is underway. The United Nations (UN) has named the Rohingya "the world's most persecuted minority." As Muslims in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar, the Rohingya are fleeing discrimination, the burning of their homes, torture, murder and rape. 

Nearly a million Rohingya have crossed into Bangladesh since August 2017 and continue to do so every day. Just a few weeks ago, a boat carrying Rohingya refugees capsized, drowning sixty people, while Rohingya fleeing on foot have stepped on land mines planted by soldiers. 

The waves of refugees fleeing Myanmar into Bangladesh personify an acute humanitarian crisis. While the government and many local Bangladeshis have welcomed the refugees with compassion and generosity, displaced women and children particularly are vulnerable to human trafficking. In situations of overcrowding, and inadequate food and shelter, traffickers prey on vulnerable persons who have little security and limited means of survival. Refugees who are women and girls are prime targets of pimps and traffickers. 

Facing this urgent tragedy, the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) is mobilizing to take action. With your help, our Asia-Pacific partners will be working on the ground in Chittagong, Bangladesh, to aid Rohingya refugees, especially women and girls. We are also fortunate to be working with renowned Bangladeshi lawyer, activist and former UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking, Sigma Huda, who already has organized local volunteers to help provide necessary services. 

We urge you to support our team of trainers to organized an anti-trafficking watch program in Bangladesh refugee camps. With decades of expertise gained in helping communities displaced by natural and man-made disasters, CATW in the Asia Pacific region (CATW-AP) has provided food, water, shelter, and other services to displaced women and children, who are vulnerable to trafficking. CATW-AP also provides training to volunteers and others on the ground to prevent trafficking and protect those at risk. 

Your Donations Will Be Used To:
  • Help provide housing, food and other services to Rohingya refugees in Chittagong, Bangladesh, a central hub for incoming refugees.
  • Bring a team of advisors into the refugee camps to conduct trainings for law enforcement, social workers and direct service providers to educate them about trafficking and gender-based violence in humanitarian crisis situations.
  • Form local anti-trafficking watch teams trained in monitoring strategies and other pre-emptive actions. Provide self-defense training for volunteers and women and refugees.
By supporting CATW's efforts in Chittagong, you will help the urgent need of Rohingya women and their families to rebuild their lives. Please donate to our GoFundMe Campaign to help this urgent project.