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  • Writer's pictureAudrey Chin

It’s reprehensible! Here’s what we can do –

Updated: Apr 10, 2021


I posted a Reuters report about how the Rohingyas, stateless Muslim refugees escaping from ethnic violence in the Burmese state of Arakhan, were apparently being spirited from Thai border camps and held for ransom or trafficked.

“Horrifying! Reprehensible!” my fellow Tribewriter Kathleen Caron commented.

“If the Thai govt won’t do anything, why doesn’t the UN step in?” she asked.

Today, one day after the great statesman Nelson Mandela’s passing, the web is buzzing with news that the UN and the United States are calling for an urgent investigation of the matter and that Thailand has agreed to assist in any probe into Rohingya human trafficking.

Is the matter resolved? Can we sit back and take a deep breath now?

The sad reality is that UN investigations take a long time. Moreover, the Rohingya don’t weigh very much against the developed world’s desire to keep the Burmese government engaged and progressing towards democracy.  As for the Thai government, it’s too pre-occupied with citizen protests to pay more than token attention to the welfare of a few thousand stateless refugees. There’s an uproar now, but REALPOLITIK suggests efforts to help the Rohingya may well fizzle out.

We need to keep the momentum going.

“Your freedom and mine cannot be separated,” Nelson Mandela said.

“No man is an island entire of itself., every man is a piece of the main … Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind,” the poet John Donne wrote.

If you are feeling diminished by our inhumanity to each other. If the thought of someone else’s un-freedom pulls at your heart, if you’re called to action here are 3 organizations you can write to, who might be able to keep things going on the ground.

1/  at Anti-Slavery, the world’s oldest anti-slavery organization

2/ The UN High Commissioner of Refugees Office in Myanmar at

3/ The Thai Burma Border Consortium who are responsible for running many of the refugee camps on the Thai Burmese border at

In each instance, please attach a link to the trafficking story

and ask the organization keep you posted on their next steps.

We can’t do much, but we can do something. Today, in tribute to a great man who did do something, let’s try.


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