I Irak blomstrer en brutal og lukrativ sex-industri. Jenter på 20 anses som for gamle, og mødre selger sine døtre til bordeller og halliker. Myndighetene anser det ikke en gang for å være et problem. Ingenting gjøres.

That underworld is a place where nefarious female pimps hold sway and where impoverished mothers sell their teenage daughters into a sex market that believes females who reach the age of 20 are too old to fetch a good price. The youngest victims, some ages 11 and 12, are sold for as much as $30,000, while others can go for as little as $2,000. «The buying and selling of girls in Iraq, it’s like the trade in cattle,» Hinda says. «I’ve seen mothers haggle with agents over the price of their daughters.» (See pictures of Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein.)

The trafficking routes are both local and international, and most often connect to Syria, Jordan and the gulf (primarily the United Arab Emirates). The victims are trafficked either illegally on forged passports or «legally» through forced marriages. A married female, even one as young as 14, raises few suspicions if she’s traveling with her «husband.» The girls are then divorced upon arrival and put to work. (See Iraq’s return to normality.)

Nobody knows exactly how many Iraqi women and children have been sold into sexual slavery since the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003. There is no official number because of the shadowy nature of the business. Baghdad-based activists like Hinda and others estimate it to be in the tens of thousands. Still, it remains a hidden crime, one that the 2008 U.S. State Department’s Trafficking in Persons report says the Iraqi government is not combating. Baghdad, the report says, «offers no protection services to victims of trafficking, reported no efforts to prevent trafficking in persons and does not acknowledge trafficking to be a problem in the country.»

Iraq’s Unspeakable Crime: Mothers Pimping Daughters

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1883696,00.html#ixzz0Ws3bERWr