Evacuated Afghan Child Brides ‘Sexually Abused’ By Older Men, Damning Report Reveals
Underage Afghan girls are reportedly being forced into marriage to escape the Taliban.
US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials are investigating the matter after a report was released revealing the harrowing information.
The legal age for marriage is 16 in Afghanistan, but sadly child marriage ‘isn’t uncommon’ in the country.
The report said there have been ‘many incidents’ of older men bringing child brides over to the US while seeking asylum, and that some of the girls have said they’re being sexually abused.
Part of the damning report read:
US officials at intake centres in the United Arab Emirates and in Wisconsin have found many incidents in which Afghan girls have been presented to authorities as the wives of much older men.
The Department of State is now seeking ‘urgent guidance’ on how to tackle the issue.
A US official familiar with the reports of alleged child brides told Yahoo! News, ‘The concern is, we’re seeing a lot of family units with very young girls. These girls are brought into the US as wives.’
‘It’s not a small number,’ they added.
The reports come after the US Army officially left Afghanistan on August 31, following mass evacuation efforts of both Afghans and US citizens in the country.
Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, president and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, has since criticised the evacuation efforts, and said these young girls may have not been subjected to such fates if the evacuation took place months ago.
She said, ‘This highlights just one reason why an orderly evacuation initiated months prior would have been far superior. It also speaks to the need to prioritize trafficking screening at intake. We must ensure that any victim of trafficking be identified and cared for in compliance with the law and their best interests.’
If you’d like to help those who’ve been affected by the recent devastating events unfolding in Afghanistan, you can make a donation to the UN Refugee Agency United Kingdom here
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