“I’ll see you soon,” said Mrs Miae when her son, Asfar, left his home in Bangladesh to find work to support his family.
Asfar arrived in Teknaf a little while later. Tired, a man handed him a glass of water. Her drank. His eyelids sagged. His vision blurred. All fell to black.
By the time Asfar awakened he was surprised to find it dark. He was roused by two men and led to a small boat, where he was bound and tied. The boat left the harbour and sailed through the night towards the dark shadowy figure of a ship far offshore. There, the two guards hurled him into a cargo hold crammed full of victims. They were given nothing to sustain them, except for a few pieces of stale bread, and muddy water.
Thousands are the victim of human trafficking every year
Not knowing where they were heading, the victims were led to Thailand, where human trafficking gangs hold thousands captive in camps in the jungles. Their only chance of freedom is ransom, which many never receive.
Victims used to step onboard the human trafficking ships voluntarily. But these days they’re tricked or abducted and forcefully taken. We don’t know precisely how many people are being forced onto the boats. But we do know that an individual boat will hold many hundreds of people, like chickens penned up in cages.
It’s a reflection of the trans-Atlantic slave trade from centuries ago. Slaves are kept in total darkness, whipped by guards, terrorised and all but left to starve. The traffickers humiliate or torture them, and even abandon some to starve and die on remote islands. It was on one remote island that Miae was left, but officials found him.
Since Oct. 11, over 130 suspected trafficking victims have been found in Phang Nga, according to reports from Thailand’s Ministry of Social Devbelopment and Human Security. The victims were “Brought by force,” says Prayoon Rattanasenee, the overnor of Phang Nga. “They were drugged.”
“Victims of human trafficking were drugged, abducted and all but left to starve”
At night the traffickers from Thailand enter Bangledeshi waters, taker people and cross the border.
You can read the full story over on Reuters.
We here at The Daily Meditation would like to offer prayer and meditations to all those caught up in this horror. Please join us in sharing a prayer.