Sex Trafficking Soars with American War in Iraq
August 27, 2011, By Rebecca Murray
Rania was 16 years old when officials raped her during Saddam Hussein’s 1991 crackdown in Iraq’s Shia south. “My bothers were sentenced to death, and the price to stop this was to offer my body,” she says.
Cast out for bringing ‘shame’ to her family, Rania ran away to Baghdad and soon fell into living and working in Baghdad’s red light district.
Prostitution and sex trafficking are epidemic in Iraq, where the violence of military occupation and sectarian strife have smashed national institutions, impoverished the population and torn apart families and neighbourhoods. Over 100,000 civilians have been killed and an estimated 4.4 million Iraqis displaced since 2003.
“Wars and conflicts, wherever they are fought, invariably usher in sickeningly high level of violence against women and girls,” Amnesty International states.