Teenage girls who are kidnapped by IS-fighters in Iraq and Syria are sold at slave markets for as little as the price of a pack of cigarettes, claims UN Special Rapporteur for sexual assault Zainab Bangura, according to the news agency AFP.
- This is a war that is being fought at the expense of women's bodies, says Bangura.
The UN rapporteur visited Iraq and Syria in April. During the journey to the war-torn countries and neighboring countries, Bangura met many women and girls who had escaped from captivity in the IS-controlled areas, according to AFP.
- They kidnap women and girls when they take new lands, so that they have - I would not call it fresh supply - but new girls, says Bangura to AFP.
There are no concrete figures on how many girls are taken by IS and sold in the slave markets, according to Bangura. But the slave business is important for the terrorist organization's recruitment.
- That's how they attract young men. Foreign fighters are important for the war, she said.
According to a recent UN report about 25,000 foreign fighters from over 100 countries are involved in conflicts worldwide. Most of these are in Syria and Iraq.
To AFP Bangura described several of the stories she heard during her travels earlier this spring, including from a group of teenage girls girls who were captured relatively recently.
Several of them were yezidi girls, a minority group that has been singled out as targets for IS.
- They were taken, locked inside a room - over 100 of them in a small house - stripped naked and washed, says Bangura.
Then the girls were forced to stand in front of a group of men who decided what they were worth. And the value varies from the price of a pack of cigarettes to a few thousand dollars, according to Bangura.
The Special Rapporteur has previously raised the alarm to the international community about IS 'slave business, and their attacks against yezidi villages.
Then the rapporteur described that the IS-fighters attacked villages and kidnapped girls, stripped them naked, performed virgin tests on them and then sent them to slave auctions. The girls ISIS regarded as the most beautiful, was sent to IS' stronghold Raqqa in Syria.
- The buyers usually go for three or four girls and keep them a few months before he resells them, says Bangura.
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