Sexual slavery

By Amy Braunschweiger

Last August, the world watched in horror as the extremist armed group Islamic State, also known as ISIS, attacked Iraq’s Yezidi community. Thousands fled without food or water into the nearby Sinjar mountains, but ISIS fighters waylaid many, executing men and abducting thousands of people, mainly women and children. Rumors of forced marriage and enslavement of Yezidi girls and women swirled, and were later confirmed as a trickle of women and girls – now numbering into the hundreds – escaped. Human Rights Watch researchers Samer Muscati andRothna Begum interviewed 20 of these women and girls and shared their findings with Amy Braunschweiger.

Boko Haram killed thousands of people, abducted at least 2000 women and girls and forced more than a million to flee their homes. Through a campaign of almost daily killings, bombings, abductions, looting and burning, Boko Haram crippled normal life in north-east Nigeria. Schools, churches, mosques and other public buildings were destroyed. Boko Haram brutally mistreated civilians trapped in areas under its control.

At least 2,000 women and girls have been abducted by Boko Haram since the start of 2014 and many have been forced into sexual slavery and trained to fight, said Amnesty International on the first anniversary of the abduction of the Chibok school girls.

Based on nearly 200 witness accounts, including 28 with abducted women and girls who escaped captivity, a new 90-page report, 'Our job is to shoot, slaughter and kill': Boko Haram’s reign of terror, documents multiple war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Boko Haram, including the killing of at least 5,500 civilians, as it rampaged across north-east Nigeria during 2014 and early 2015.

The Amnesty International report sheds new light on the brutal methods used by the armed group in north-east Nigeria where men and boys are regularly conscripted or systematically executed and young women and girls are abducted, imprisoned and in some cases raped, forcibly married and made to participate in armed attacks, sometimes on their own towns and villages.

Warvin Foundation for Women's Issues have announced the formation of a group to address kidnappings and abuse of women by ISIS in the Kurdish region of Iraq.  The "5+ Group for Women's Aid" was officially announced via a press-conference at the Chwarchara-hotel in Erbil on September 4 2014.

While reports of the Taliban’s involvement in the trafficking of Afghan women was long reported by Afghan refugees fleeing Afghanistan during the Taliban’s rule, more detailed and numerous accounts continue to emerge.
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