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Report: Women in Iraq camps being sexually assaulted 

Iraqi women with children, who fled from Havice district due to the ongoing operations held by Iraqi army and Peshmerga against Daesh, arrive to take shelter in Peshmerga controlled Dibis district of Kirkuk, Iraq on 30 September 2017 [Ali Mukarrem Garip/Anadolu Agency]
Iraqi women with children, who fled from Havice district due to the ongoing operations held by Iraqi army and Peshmerga against Daesh, arrive to take shelter in Peshmerga controlled Dibis district of Kirkuk, Iraq on 30 September 2017 [Ali Mukarrem Garip/Anadolu Agency]

Iraqi women believed to be affiliated with Daesh face sexual exploitation in internal displacement camps across Iraq, according to an article by Foreign Policy.

Women, who are confined to the camps, are being forced into prostitution, trading themselves for money, basic services or for permission to leave the camps temporarily.

“They said they will help me in any way, work things out for me, give me money, but I need to allow them [to have sex],” said one woman from a camp near Mosul, who chose to remain anonymous.

“He didn’t ask me anything, nothing. He did whatever he wanted. By God, I’ve been humiliated. I am in a terrible mental state.”

The woman was married to a Daesh militant said she had no role in his decision to join.

READ: 45,000 Iraq child to face stateless future

Omar Mohammed, the founder of a Mosul activist network, told Foreign Policy that men in the camps had formed prostitution rings, forcing women to sell themselves before being brought back to the camps.

The victims also regularly undergo abortions for unwanted pregnancies, he said.

After the defeat of Daesh in Iraq, many men were either killed or arrested for supposed affiliation to the terrorist group.

“In many cases, the men’s only ‘crime’ was escaping an ISIS [Daesh] stronghold, having similar names to those on questionable ‘wanted lists’, or working in non-combat roles with IS [Daesh] as cooks or drivers,” a 2018 Amnesty International report on sexual violence amongst Internally Displaced People (IDPs) said.

This, the report continued, has left women to “fend for themselves”, vulnerable to sexual exploitation by security guards and military personnel who use their authority to take advantage of them.

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