Monday, July 7, 2008

Syndicates of Iraqi men are trafficking British girls as young as 14 for sex

British girls as young as 12 are being forced into prostitution by migrants in a new crime of 'internal' people trafficking. Children from ordinary families are groomed by older men posing as boyfriends before being pimped around Britain to have sex up to 20 times a night. They are raped and often drugged, according to police. Officers have identified syndicates of Iraqi men throughout Britain behind the exploitation. A Government report said 'internal trafficking' was an 'emerging issue' and it should no longer be assumed young victims of sex exploitation were smuggled from abroad. A British Human Trafficking Center intelligence report says girls as young as 12 are taken from town to town and controlled with threats and assault. In one operation, 32 victims were identified in the Sheffield area alone. All were aged 12 to 15 and had been raped. In another study, police say girls 'are given to a life of exploitation, waking up in anonymous towns, unable to contact family and with no way out'. Figures released at the end of a six-month crackdown on people traffickers showed 167 victims were rescued across Britain and Ireland and 528 suspected traffickers were arrested. It included 13 children aged between 14 and 17 who were rescued from sexual exploitation and two children who were under forced labor.

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