R. Beja Myanmar child slavery

Myanmar ‘child slavery’ outrage sparks investigation

In countries like Burma and most of southeast asia human trafficking and slavery are very common practice, and in this article we will be discussing the themes and stereotypes portrayed by this story of two girls. The over all story for the article is that these two girls were sent away from their parent’s village to help earn money to help support the family. What ended up happening is that the girls were abused, mistreated, and beaten regularly. When the village and the parents finally went to the police for assistance they were turned away time and time again. The tone of the story paints a very dismal outlook for not only the girls in the article but the country as a whole.

It was not until a reporter became involved, Swe Win took the case to the national human rights commission and the United Nations started putting pressure on the local police to get involved and the girls were released, and their captors arrested. It just speaks volumes to how corruption, poor leadership, and a general sense of apathy is portrayed when the article deals with the government. It is sad that these girls were treated like they were by their captors.

Picture originally from AFP/Ye Aung Thuye Aung Thu obtained from BBC World

Picture originally from AFP/Ye Aung Thuye Aung Thu
obtained from BBC World

The girl in the photographs shows only her injuries. If you first look at her hands you can see the scars on her forearms most likely from a knife trying to cut her face and she covered herself with them. When you see her hands look at her fingers and how her fingers are gnarled and almost locked into place. That’s from multiple fractures to her fingers from being broken constantly most likely with a hammer because of the circular indentations in between her knuckles and forefingers. That young woman will probably never be able to use her hands again. Simple things such as even feeding herself, bathing, and even going to the bathroom will be a daily struggle for her. ‘What was her crime?’ One might ask in regards to seeing these photos. The answer is simply, ‘her cooking and cleaning,’ according to the article.

The fact of the matter is that even though the families were justified in asking for the captors to be brought up on charges, chances are that this is not the only story like this from Burma. It is rugged, rural third world, and the majority of its economy is based around the black market. Drugs, guns, human trafficking, and murder are a daily reality for countries like this. So while the journalist who fought to get the village help will get an award, and the girls are safe and healthy, the situation in the article appears to be hopeful. The reality however is extremely grim, and unless people continue to step forward and make waves like this it will not ever change. The easiest way to remember the tone that the pictures portray in contrast to the writing is best summarized by Edmund Burke, “Evil prevails when good men fail to act.”

For more information, please visit the BBC for the full article located here: