Beaten and burnt- Myanmar’s invisible child servants

September 22, 2016 | By | Reply More

Sep 22, – The 17-year-old was rescued from a tailor’s shop in Yangon this month where she and another girl from her village spent five years as housemaids.

Beaten and burnt- Myanmar's invisible childSan Kay Khine stares at her burnt, scarred hands, her twisted fingers a reminder of her years as a child slave in Myanmar, one of thousands of young domestic workers feared to be at risk of exploitation and abuse.

There they were allegedly beaten, cut with knives and deprived of sleep and food by the shop owner and her family — all for an occasional few dollars thrown their way.

The pair are among tens of thousands of children from poor rural areas sent to work as domestic helpers for the country’s growing pool of wealthier, urban middle-class households.

Enticed by promises of jobs that can support their families, rights groups say they are at high risk of abuse.

But the issue is under researched in a impoverished country where the justice system favours the wealthy.

San Kay Khine, whose fingers have set at strange angles after being broken by her captors, remains too traumatised to talk about what happened, only whispering that she wants to stay at home.

Instead, it is left to 16-year-old Thazin to give details of the suffering they shared at the tailor’s shop.

“I have a scar from where an iron was stamped on my leg and a scar on my head as well,” she told AFP at her home village, a few hours drive from Yangon.

“This was a wound from a knife, because my cooking was not OK,” she said, showing a mark on her nose.

Like many child workers, the pair were brought to Yangon by a friend from the village who promised to find them good jobs.

After years of failed rescue attempts by their families, who twice confronted the owners but were rebuffed, they were freed when a local journalist alerted the national human rights commission.

The shop owner and her two adult children were arrested this week over the allegations and charged with human-trafficking.

Press journalist for HRO media – Ignacio Damigo reports.

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Category: International

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