In Iraq, trafficking and sexual exploitation have reportedly increased since the beginning of the war According to a local organization, Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI), 15 percent of Iraqi women widowed by the war are seeking "temporary marriages" or sex work for protection and/or financial support.19 Four thousand Iraqi women, one-fifth of whom are under 18, have disappeared from their previous locations in Iraq since the 2003 invasion, reports OWFI.20 Many are believed to have been trafficked.21 The United States State Department also reports that Iraqi women and girls are believed to have been internally and internationally trafficked for sexual exploitation.22 .23
In Jordan it is unclear whether trafficking is present either among refugees or among other population sectors. Among refugees, there is some mention of prostitution but the reports could not be confirmed during our mission and it is unclear whether the possible prostitution is trafficking. In our interviews with local service providers, there was a very low awareness of trafficking in Jordan. Most of those interviewed thought of trafficking only as the type of horror- story with young girls chained to beds in brothels; other aspects of force, fraud or coercion were little known to those interviewed.
Services available by sector
The following section attempts to summarize the services which are currently in operation for the Iraqis in Jordan. The descriptions are by no means exhaustive or complete as new services are becoming available on a regular basis. Agencies which are known to be compiling mappings of services available to Iraqis in Jordan include UNHCR, ICRC and ICMC.
Food and non-food items
Overall, the access of the Iraqi refugee community to food seems adequate, although the mission did meet one family that did not have enough food and the Mideast Council of Churches indicated that food security for asylum refugee families was a concern of theirs. ICMC through Caritas is providing heaters, blankets, stoves, mattresses, hearing aids, food and hygiene items. CARE is providing feminine hygiene items, blankets, baby diapers, heaters, clothing and monthly financial assistance for rent and utilities. Jordan Hashemite Charity Organization is providing food and non-food assistance in all Amman suburbs except for Nuzha. World Vision is providing food distribution. The Royal Association for Iraqi Immigrants provides food and non- food assistance funded by donations from wealthy Iraqis in Jordan. The World Food Program is working through its Jordanian partners, (Jordanian Red Crescent, Hashemite Charity, CARE and the Middle-East Council of Churches). The Korean church in Hashmi provides food and in-kind donations from a well-managed center with a caring atmosphere. Terre des Hommes also distributes food and non-food items in Zarqa.
19 20 21 22 23
Sarhan, Afif. "In Baghdad, Sex is Traded for Survival." Al Jazeera. Aug. 13, 2007. Ibid. Ibid. United States State Department. Trafficking in persons report 2006. Washington, DC: June 2006. MADRE. Promising Democracy, Imposing Theocracy. March 2007.
Report of the ICMC / USCCB Mission – Protection Needs in Jordan