Egypt: Fraudulent Marriages Used to Disguise Sex Trafficking of Young Girls
Tuesday, August 6, 2013 3:50 PM

Tourists travel to small towns outside of Cairo, Egypt, and arrange “marriages” to girls under the age of eighteen. Thousands of girls are trafficked in these fraudulent marriages, which last anywhere from a few hours to a few years. "It's a form of child prostitution in the guise of marriage," said Azza El Ashmwawy, the director of the Child Anti-Trafficking Unit at the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM). "The man pays a sum of money and will stay with the girl for a few days or the summer, or will take her back to his country for domestic work or prostitution." 

Most of the girls are returned to their families after the arrangement ends and, in many cases, trafficked again. Some girls have been “married” as many as 60 times before the age of 18. Since many hotels and landlords will not rent rooms to unmarried couples, having a marriage certificate allows the men to avoid these restrictions.

According to NCCM, child marriage and trafficking laws are poorly enforced, and this type of trafficking in girls has increased since 2011. These so-called marriages are not recognized by the state, and they do not provide rights to the victims or any children that may result from the trafficking.
Compiled from: McGrath, Cam, Underage Girls Are Egypt’s Summer Rental, Inter Press News (5 August 2013)