The price of a young girl is as cheap as the price of a pack of cigarettes. Such atrocities are waged against young women in the IS slave markets regularly by Islamic militants. The UN envoy on sexual violence stated on Monday that the girls kidnapped by the Islamic State (IS) militants from Syria and Iraq are sold in the slave market at cheap rates.
Zainab Bangura, who visited Iraq and Syria this April, is now working on an action plan to combat this form of sexual violence committed by the IS militants on a regular basis.
“This is a war that is being fought on the bodies of women,” Bangura said in an interview.
The girls who managed to escape from IS captivation spoke to the UN envoy. The members of the envoy also met religious and political leaders apart from visiting the refugees in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon.
The exact number of women abducted, enslaved and sold in labor markets are unknown yet, but the jihadists are continuing the flesh-trade ahead of fresh-offensives.
“They kidnap and abduct women when they take areas so they have – I don’t want to call it a fresh supply – but they have new girls,” Bangura added. “Some were taken, locked up in a room – over 100 of them in a small house – stripped naked and washed.”
Many of these teenage girls are from Yazidi minority targeted by the jihadists as described by the UN envoy.
The IS lure men by “displaying” these abducted girls as key strategy to recruit foreign fighters who have been traveling to Iraq and Syria in record numbers for the last 18 months. These foreign fighters form the core-strength of the IS.
“This is how they attract young men – we have women waiting for you, virgins that you can marry,” Bangura said.
A recent UN report revealed that 25,000 men across 100 countries joined the IS, the highest influx being recorded in Iraq and Syria.