Afghan evacuation raises concerns about child trafficking

Washington (Associated Press)-US officials are investigating reports that during the frantic evacuation of desperate Afghans from Kabul, older men and young girls they claimed to be “brides” were admitted, or in other ways Being sexually abused.

U.S. officials at the reception center United Arab Emirates In Wisconsin, many incidents have been identified, in which Afghan girls are introduced as the “wives” of older men. Although child marriages are not uncommon in Afghanistan, the United States has strict policies on human trafficking, including prosecuting offenders and imposing sanctions on countries that do not combat human trafficking.

An internal document seen by the Associated Press stated that the State Department had sought “urgent guidance” from other agencies after a child bride-in-law was allegedly taken to Fort McCoy, Wisconsin. Another document described to the Associated Press by officials familiar with the document stated that Afghan girls at a transit station in Abu Dhabi claimed that they were raped by older men and forced to marry in order to escape Afghanistan.

The US State Department did not immediately comment on the authenticity of these documents or the details. Officials said they take all such allegations seriously, but many of them are anecdotal and difficult to verify, especially when Afghan evacuees in multiple locations in the Middle East, Europe and the United States are being squeezed.

The situation report sent to all U.S. embassies and consulates abroad and the Florida Military Command Center on August 27 pointed out potential problems involving young girls and older men. Some of them claimed to have more than one wife in Fort McCoy. The huge 60,000-acre (243 square kilometers) army base is located in Wisconsin. The Associated Press obtained the relevant part of the document, titled “Afghan Task Force SitRep No. 63”.

“Fort McCoy staff have reported multiple cases of underage women making’married’ cases to adult men in Afghanistan and polygamous families,” the document said. “The State Council has requested urgent guidance.”

The military or the Department of Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, which is responsible for operating the facility, did not immediately indicate that it had received such guidance.

At the same time, U.S. officials United Arab Emirates Expressed similar concerns and sent a diplomatic cable to Washington It warned that some young Afghan girls were forced to marry to flee Afghanistan after the Taliban took over.

Officials familiar with the telegram said that the telegram described several girls in Abu Dhabi Humanitarian City accusing them of being sexually assaulted by their “husbands” and seeking guidance on how to handle such cases. These officials requested anonymity because they did not have the right to discuss internal communications.

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