Desperate Syrian women turn to prostitution

In amongst the continued battle for the country, the war in Syria continues to take its toll on citizens of the country

by The Commentator on 10 March 2013 17:48

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As the Syrian death toll mounts, as millions continue to be displaced, a new tragedy has emerged as initially reported by the Associated Press (AP).

In Jordanian refugee camps, Syrian women are resorting to selling their bodies for sex to enable them to pay for basic requirements such as food and money to send back to relatives who have yet been unable to flee Syria.

"Come in, you'll have a good time," suggests Nada, 19, who escaped from the southern border town of Daraa into Jordan several months ago. Her father sits outside watching silently. Nada prices her body at $7, negotiable. She says she averages around $70 a day.

Syrian men who fled jobs in their native country are reportedly offering their wives for sex. "You can have her all day for $70," promises a former barber from Idlib. He says he never imagined he would be selling his own wife, but he needs to send money back to his parents and in-laws in Syria, about $200 a month.

The AP news agency spoke to 11 prostitutes in the UN-run refugee camp in Zaatari and a 37-year-old Jordanian woman running a chain of brothels in northern Jordan complained that Syrian women were taking over the business.

"It's a dangerous business. I'm risking my life, but what can I do?" says Sammar, a green-eyed brunette in tight leather pants, a slim white shirt and fake silver jewelry. "My parents are sick and can't work. I'm the oldest among their seven children and I have to work to send them money back in Syria."

"We have seen no evidence of prostitution in the camp, but we have heard rumors of it," said Andrew Harper, chief of the U.N. refugee commission in Jordan. "Given the vulnerability of women, the camp's growing population and the lack of resources, I'm not surprised that some may opt for such actions."

AP reports: "As the flow of Syrian refugees into neighboring Jordan is sharply increasing, so is their desperation. With Syria torn apart by civil war and its economy deeply damaged, the total number of people who have fled and are seeking aid has now passed a million, the United Nations said this week. More than 418,000 of the refugees are in Jordan, which recorded about 50,000 new arrivals in February alone, the highest influx to date."

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