Iraq: High Levels of Trafficking in Women
Monday, September 12, 2011 11:30 AM

Iraq is witnessing soaring levels of prostitution and sex trafficking. Those most at risk are girls seeking to escape domestic violence or forced marriage by running away. Many of these girls are picked up by sex traffickers and forced to work in brothels.

Continued military occupation and sectarian violence within Iraq has resulted in increased levels of violence against women overall. The corruption of authorities and growing insecurity have also allowed the sex trafficking industry to flourish. According to the International Organisation of Migration, an estimated 800,000 humans are victims of trafficking across borders, however, accurate statistics in Iraq are unavailable.

Though trafficking is declared illegal by the Iraqi constitution, there remains a lack of criminal laws that would allow for the prosecution of offenders. Accordingly, perpetrators continue these crimes with impunity. As a new government, Iraq has done little to tackle this persistent problem.

Compiled from: IPS, Female Trafficking Soars in Iraq (27 August 2011).