“I agreed with my son’s decision to go to Malaysia, but I lost my son,” said Hussain, 65. «Now I don’t know why he should live.»

Malaysia, a Muslim-majority country, has long been a top destination for Rohingya refugees, some of whom then send for their families to join them. Young women are also transported there to marry Rohingya men whom they may or may not know.

Mohammad Majid, a Kutupalong resident, said his 20-year-old sister Minara had left for Malaysia by boat in November to marry her boyfriend.

“Two months have passed and we don’t know his situation or where he is,” said Majid, 30. «We are trying to contact our sister, but no one is giving us any information.»

Not everyone leaves camp by choice. Sofura Khatun says her 14-year-old son, Noor Qader, was kidnapped by traffickers when he was on his way to school in November.

Two weeks later, she said, her son called her and said: “Mom, save me, they are beating me. A trawler takes me to Malaysia.»

She said a broker returned her phone and told her he would sell her son unless she paid him $500. Although she complied, he told her, she hasn’t heard from him since.

“The traffickers didn’t take my son, they took the shelter I loved for 14 years and my hopes and dreams,” said Khatun, 45. «How can I get my son back?»