Young Girls Forced To "Marry" Older Men To Escape Afghanistan Are Alleging Sexual Assault And Rape
Buried deep in the ongoing mess that is the Afghanistan evacuation, another ugly problem is rearing its head: older Afghan men have reportedly been admitted to intake centers with young girls they have claimed as their "brides".
The problem has surfaced at intake centers in the United Arab Emirates and in Wisconsin, a new report from AP says. There have been "numerous" incidents where Afghan girls have been presented to authorities as the “wives” of much older men, the report says. Some girls at a transit site in Abu Dhabi have even told authorities they had "been raped by older men they were forced to marry in order to escape", the report says.
A cable sent from the United Arab Emirates to Washington described allegations by girls that they had been sexually assaulted by their "husbands".
The normalcy of child marriage in Afghanistan stands at odds with strict child trafficking laws that the U.S. has, catalyzing the State Department to seek "urgent guidance" on how to handle the situation, specifically in Fort McCoy in Wisconsin.
Some of the men being taken in at Fort McCoy claim to have more than one wife, the report says.
“Intake staff at Fort McCoy reported multiple cases of minor females who presented as ‘married’ to adult Afghan men, as well as polygamous families,” an August 27 situation report sent to all U.S. embassies and consulates abroad as well as military command centers in Florida read.
No immediate action has been taken by the military or the departments of homeland security and health and human services, AP noted.
The State Department didn't offer a comment, except to say that many allegations "are anecdotal and difficult to prove".
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