Terrorist groups, including ISIS and Boko Haram, are trading sex slaves as a means to generate funding according to a new report from think tank Henry Jackson Society. The Lancaster Telegraph reports that these groups are turning to “hostage-taking and ransom efforts as historical revenue streams such as taxation and oil sales dry up.”
The research explains how terrorists use sexual violence — including rape, sexual slavery, and forced marriage — to increase recruitment, galvanize troops, and punish those who don’t follow their teachings. One case involved a 10-year-old girl from Libya who was raped repeatedly by traffickers while they held her in one of their camps.
As Yvette Cooper, Chairwoman of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, explained:
“Isil, Boko Haram and other evil groups are increasingly seeing human trafficking as a possible revenue stream – and we know that terrorists use sexual violence as one of the weapons they use to divide and create fear within communities.”
The authors of the report recommend that British laws, including the Modern Slavery Act and Terrorism Act, should be interpreted more broadly to reflect sexual violence being used as a tactic of terrorism.