Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights uncovered an escalation of human trafficking crimes in Baghdad and other provinces, in spite of the measures taken by the concerned bodies, including the Ministry of the Interior, to reduce these crimes and prevent its spread.
Trafficking in human beings has expanded and is committed by large gangs and specialized networks with agents in various provinces. The activity of these gangs and networks includes exploiting children in begging, selling human organs, and using girls in brothels.
Deputy head of the IHCHR Ali Abdul Karim al-Shammari said that trafficking has seen a recent escalation in the central and southern provinces and is managed by traders.
The anti-trafficking department at the Interior Ministry arrested 12 specialized gangs in Baghdad alone at the end of last year.
The Fate Organization for Human Trafficking Combat (FHTCO) said that the past year witnessed a great deal of trafficking in human beings and an increase in the number of crimes and violations that particularly in Baghdad, Basra, Diwaniyah, Diyala, Erbil, Karbala and Najaf.
This rise in trafficking is due to the poor economic conditions and increasing poverty, FHTCO said in its annual report, noting that some people sell their organs in violation of law, and that some women resort to acts contrary to public morals and laws in force.
Also, it was found that financial corruption has prevailed some cases of trafficking in human beings by corrupt employees, in addition to the decline of the role of the Iraqi judiciary in this area.
These gangs were not limited to trading Iraqi children and girls, but also to using male and female workers, and abducting foreign children for the purpose of selling them or trading their organs, in cooperation with parties outside Iraq.
A trafficking network that has used foreign children was uncovered, while many of the foreign children have been rescued from such networks.
This international network has emerged in Manila, Philippines, and went through the United Arab Emirates and the Kurdistan region, reaching other Iraqi province, FHTCO said. Its victims are Asian women and some African women.