MADRE Statements

OWFI Releases Study on Prostitution and Trafficking of Women and Girls

Posted on: Friday, March 5, 2010

Keywords: Iraq, Middle East, Combating Violence Against Women, Economic Justice, Sexual Rights, CSW

Today, MADRE's partner organization, the Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq (OWFI), released the report "Prostitution and Trafficking of Women and Girls in Iraq."

Yanar Mohammed, director of OWFI, presented the findings at a panel discussion held by the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women during CSW.

From the report:

"In 2007 OWFI took on the challenge of investigating and documenting the extent of trafficking and prostitution within our outreach in Iraq. While OWFI leadership learned about prostitution and trafficking at international women's conferences, OWFI focused initially on providing shelter for women, helping them escape from the vicious cycle of poverty and prostitution. The education of OWFI activists on the issue of trafficking led to a program of anti-trafficking, initially experimenting with methods and procedures.

In 2008 some former victims of trafficking began working with OWFI adding a new passion to OWFI’s efforts. Their contribution opened a victims window, giving OWFI a clearer view into the industry of prostitution and trafficking in Iraq from a victim's point of view. This industry looked like an octopus with its head in Baghdad while the limbs reached out to Damascus, Dubai, Jordan, and the Emirates."

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