Iraqi Refugees Resort to Prostitution

Displaced women turn to sex trade to support families
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted May 29, 2007 11:09 AM CDT
Iraqi Refugees Resort to Prostitution
Iraqis wait their turn to register at the United Nations High...   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – As Iraqi refugees flood across the border into Syria, more and more women are turning to prostitution to support themselves and their families. The Times visits the Damascus area, where some women approach men on the street, some work at clubs known as "casinos," and some are even pimped by family members.

The problem is so serious that the government, which had not acknowledged it except in euphemisms, has taken up the issue with the UN's refugee agency. Contributing to the refugees' desperate situation are Syria's high unemployment rate and the fact that many Iraqi women have lost the male breadwinners on whom they traditionally relied. (Read more Iraq stories.)

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