Myanmar downgraded in US trafficking report.

Yangon : Myanmar is not doing enough to tackle human trafficking, according to a US State Department report that  downgraded its ranking to the worst tier.

The annual Trafficking in Persons {TIP} report said Myanmar slipped backward on its trafficked person's index to Tier 3 for failing to protect Rohingya Muslims fleeing a military crackdown in Rakhine state.

More than 700,000 Rohingya fled to escape military retaliation following attacks by militants on police posts in August 2017.

The United Nations and the United States have said the violence amounts to ''ethnic cleansing''.

The vast majority of the fleeing Rohingya  settled in sprawling refugee camps in neighbouring Bangladesh.

Many were   women and children who have become pray for traffickers.

The Rohingya were  ''subjected to exploitation or transported to other countries for the purpose of  sex trafficking , as a result of their displacement,'' it said.

It also said that some Rohingya children were abducted in transit and sold into forced marriages in India, Indonesia and Malaysia.

''The government of  Burma does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so,'' it said, using the former name for Myanmar.

Myanmar officials did not immediately reply to  AFP's  request for comment.

Myanmar and Bangladesh later signed an agreement to repatriate the Rohingya  but many fear returning without guaranteed basic rights such as safety, freedom of movement and citizenship.

The camps in south east Bangladesh were recently battered by monsoon rains, forcing thousands to shift in the face of deadly landslides.

On Thursday the  World Bank approved a  $50 million grant for a project to improve health, education water supply and sanitation in the camps, the first instalment  in a series that could total as much as  $480 million, it said in a statement. {AFP]


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