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Sex Trafficking in Armed Conflict: A Case Study of South Sud

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Tatiana Sibaai

on 17 April 2014

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Transcript of Sex Trafficking in Armed Conflict: A Case Study of South Sud

Sex Trafficking in
Armed Conflict: A Case Study of South Sudan, Afghanistan and Iraq
Research Parameters
Sex Trafficking
"Trafficking in persons’” shall mean the
recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons
, by means of the
threat or use of force
or other forms of
, of
, of
, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of
sexual exploitation
, forced labour or services,
or practices similar to
, servitude or the removal of organs"

Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, Supplementing the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime, Article 3a
Research Question
What are the patterns of sex trafficking in armed conflict and what factors are either shared or unique?

Focusing on:
Women and girls
Exclusively sex trafficking
During times of conflict
Case Studies
South Sudan

"During armed conflict, cross border trafficking of women is prevalent, yet data on this phenomenon is very limited"

Wölte, Sonja. Armed Conflict and Trafficking in Women. Germany: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH, 2004.
Is the country a source, destination, and/or transit location?
Where are women being trafficked from?
Where are women being trafficked to?
Where are women ending up?
Who are the perpetrators?
Who are the victims?
Cross border vs. internal
The global sex trafficking industry
IOM estimates up to two million women are trafficked across borders each year
Estimated annual profits are between $5 and $7 billion

Critical Analysis and Conclusion
Informal Economies
and Breakdown of Government
Influence of Foreign Presence
on Demand
Influx of foreign personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan created a demand for sex workers
Established the need for a supply, facilitating sex trafficking both internally and externally
Maladaptive Livelihood Strategies
Helen Young and Sue Lautze/Angela Raven-Roberts
Families selling female relatives
Exploitation of women's economic situation
Trafficking networks
Assets become liabilities during conflict
Commoditization of women and girls as resources to be exploited
Future Research

Gaps in Data
Use labor trafficking research methods as framework for evaluating and monitoring sex trafficking
Use a livelihoods model adapted for violent CHEs

Dysfunctional state institutions
Weak border control
High levels of violence
Economic vulnerability of women
Economies built on illicit activities and organized crime
New demand
Features of War Zones that Facilitate Trafficking
Presentation Outline

Reserach Question
Research Parameters

Research question and parameters
Who, where, how, and why?
Overview of cases
Critical analysis
Conclusions and future research
Works Cited
Abouzeid, Rania. “Iraq’s Unspeakable Crime: Mothers Pimping Daughters.” Time (March 7, 2009).

“Afghanistan: Escalating Setbacks for Women.” Human Rights Watch, 16 July 2013.

American Civil Liberties Union and Yale Law School. Victims of Complacency: The Ongoing Trafficking and Abuse of Third Country Nationals by U.S. Government Contractors. New York, NY: American Civil Liberties Union, June 2012.

Department of State, United States of America. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012: South Sudan. Washington, D.C.: Department of State, United States of America, 2012.

Department of State, United States of America. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2011: South Sudan. Washington, D.C.: Department of State, United States of America, 2011.

Department of State, United States of America. Trafficking in Persons Report. Washington, D.C.: Department of State, United States of America, 2013.

———. . Trafficking in Persons Report. Washington, D.C.: Department of State, United States of America, 2012.

Hasrat-Nazimi, Waslat. “Human Trafficking, Prostitution Thrive in Afghanistan.” Deutsche Welle, October 24, 2012.

Huggler, Justin. "Chinese Prostitutes Arrested in Kabul 'Restaurant' Raids." The Independent, February 10, 2006, sec. World.

International Organization for Migration. IOM South Sudan 2013 Country Programme. Geneva, Switzerland: International Organization for Migration.

Isenberg, David. “Sex and Security in Afghanistan.” Asia Times, October 6, 2009, sec. South Asia.

Maffai, Margaret. “Accountability for Private Military and Security Company Employees that Engage in Sex Trafficking and Related Abuses while Under Contract with the United States Overseas.” Wisconsin International Law Journal (May 16, 2009).

Marcovich, Malka. Trafficking, Sexual Exploitation, and Prostitution of Women and Girls in Iraq. Amman, Jordan: Norwegian Church Aid, 2010.

McGirk, Tim and Shomali Plain. “Lifting the Veil on Taliban Sex Slavery.” Time (February 10, 2002).

Micha, Alexandra, Iman Abou-Atta, Marie-Charlotte Macaud, and Sarah Barnes. An Investigation into the Sex Trafficking of Iraqi Women and Girls. England, U.K: Karamatuna, 2011.

Murray, Rebecca. “Female Trafficking Soars in Iraq.” IPS News, August 27, 2011.

Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq. Prostitution and Trafficking of Women and Girls in Iraqi. New York, NY: OFWI, 2010.

Randall-Smith, Huw. Human Trafficking and Afghanistan: An Overview of Global Trends and Local Dynamics. Norfolk, VA: Civil-Military Fusion Centre, 2013.

Rehn, Elisabeth and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Women, War and Peace: The Independent Experts’ Assessment on the Impact of Armed Conflict on Women and Women’s Role in Peace-Building. New York: United Nations Development Fund for Women, 2002.

Simons, Emily. “Afghan Opium Brides.” The International, 13 February 2013.

Trafficking in Persons: An Analysis of Afghanistan. Kabul, Afghanistan: International Organization for Migration, June 2013.

UNODC, Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2012, (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.13.IV.1).

Wölte, Sonja. Armed Conflict and Trafficking in Women. Germany: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH, 2004.

Wenona Giles
Cycle: Displacement --> Trafficking --> Fleeing --> Displacement --> Trafficking
Gender relations prior to war
Loss of protection from traditional social networks
Mark Duffield
War as social transformation
Informal and formal economies are inextricably linked

Women's families
Afghanistan, Iraq
Drug trafficking networks
Afghanistan, Iraq
Interpreters and Contractors
Iraq: mainly women who work inside the Green Zone
Afghanistan: US government contractors
Female Solicitors (typically former victims)
Criminal gangs
Members of rival ethnic groups
South Sudan: Missiriya and Rizeigat ethnic groups (Baggara Arab tribes)
Rural Poor
South Sudan: women and girls forced into domestic servitude in Yei, Boy, Wau, Torit, Nimule, and Juba; hundreds of women and girls from various ethnic groups (e.g. Murbe and Lou Nuer tribes)
Trafficking of Afghan women to:
Pakistan, Iran, India, Saudi Arabia
Afghanistan as a destination for women from:
Pakistan, China, Philippines, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Iran, Sri Lanka, Nepal, India, Uganda
Where women end up
Brothels, restaurants, military bases, private homes
Trafficking of Iraqi women to:
Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Kuwait, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, Sudan, Iran, Morocco, Yemen
Iraq as a destination and transit country for women from:
Iran, Syria, China, Ethiopia, Philippines
Where women end up
Brothels, nightclubs, private homes, military bases
Trafficking of South Sudanese women from:
South Kordofan/Upper Nile region
Jonglei, Upper Nile, and Eastern Equatoria States
In proximity of IDP and refugee camps, especially near the Kenya border
Rural areas
South Sudan as a destination for women from:
Kenya, Uganda, DRC, Ethiopia, Eritrea
Where women end up
Brothels, restaurants, private homes, urban centers
Trafficking by family members to pay debts and resolve disputes
Increased demand from foreign military (personnel and contractors)
South Sudan
Ethnic tensions and conflict between groups
Common Strategies
Common Causes, Facilitators, and Circumstances

Large population of displaced persons and high level of movement
Weak government institutions and lack of border security
Impunity due to:
Absence of rule of law
Corruption amongst government authorities
Conflation of sex trafficking as prostitution
Government officials
South Sudan: Local/national police
Afghanistan: Provincial governors; national and border police, especially on western border with Iran
Iraq: Corrupt police officials
South Sudan: Members of SPLA; members of LRA
Afghanistan: Afghan National Army; non-state armed groups
Iraq: Saddam Hussein's militia and military personnel (pre-2003)
Often, women are trafficked into Iraq, spending time in Baghdad, and are then re-trafficked to the Emirates
Baghdad's red light district
Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)
South Sudan: especially near Kenya border
Orphans and runaways
South Sudan: girls, especially orphans
moving between refugee camps and
crossing borders
Domestic Workers/Servants
Daughters and Wives
In Iraq and Afghanistan, the majority of internally trafficked women have no education and come from poor or abusive backgrounds (2009 IOM report)
In the South Kordofan/Upper Nile region of South Sudan, thousands of Dinka women and girls and Nuba girls were abducted and trafficking during the North-South conflict, and many still remain with their captors.
Kidnapping and abduction
Lured by false pretense of legitimate employment
Cross-border trafficking facilitated by corrupt police and government officials
Forced prostitution in hotels, restaurants, and brothels, induced or controlled by a third party
Coercion, fraud, deception, abuse of power
Targeting runaways
South Sudan
Causes, Facilitators, and Circumstances Shared by Two Cases
(Afghanistan and Iraq)

Unique Causes, Facilitators, and Circumstances

South Sudan
Cattle-raiding feuds between rival ethnic groups
Trafficking through trans-border tribal structures
Taxi drivers and female solicitors
Male seducers falsely convince girls to elope
Blackmail and exploitation
Unique Strategies
Strategies shared by two cases (Afghanistan and Iraq)
Sale, trade, or forced marriage by family members
Physical and mental torture, beatings, rape and sexual assault to gain compliance
Well-established drug trafficking networks
Women brought in through labor companies, then forced into sexual servitude
"There are indications that the criminal trade in arms and drugs as essential components of war economies is increasingly expanded by the 'trade' in human beings. Depending on the war situation, trafficking in humans may be more lucrative and/or safer than the trafficking in drugs or arms."
GTZ report
By Tatiana Sibaai, Sarah Collman,
Abby Fried, and Roxana Mullafiroze
Full transcript