Sex trafficking

Sex trafficking is a hot topic across the Arab region, where poverty, conflict and the particular vulnerability of women in many communities fuel this human trade. Since the war in 2003, Iraq has been a particular focus of international concern; for more on sex trafficking, in and from Iraq, see At a Crossroads: Human Rights in Iraq Eight Years after the US-Led Invasion by Human Rights Watch, Human Trafficking in Iraq: Patterns and Practices in Forced Labour and Exploitation by Heartland Alliance and Trafficking, Sexual Exploitation and Prostitution of Women and Girls in Iraq by Norwegian Church AID. While trafficking is an undeniable violation of human rights, there is a lively international debate as to whether that the drive to clamp down on trafficking around the world, and in particular the US “anti-prostitution pledge” required of NGOs which seek US funding, is, in itself, infringing the rights of women who choose to become sex workers. For an interesting critique of the sex trafficking discourse in Dubai, famous as one of the hotspots for sex work in the Arab region, see Gridlock: Labour, Migration and Human Trafficking in Dubai by Pardis Mahdavi.