The Sex-Trafficking of Refugees and its Legal Challenges: The Case of Lebanon

In: Arab Law Quarterly
Carla B. Abdo-Katsipis Wesleyan University 45 Wyllys Avenue, Middletown, CT 06459 USA

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The trafficking of refugees has become a priority in discussions about the efficacy of human trafficking law in recent years. While the number of studies concerning this phenomenon has increased, there is a paucity of literature about the effectiveness of anti-human trafficking laws in the Arab world. This article focuses on Syrian refugees trafficked into Lebanon, and evaluates the strength of Lebanese Law No. 164 Trafficking in Persons in its mandate to (i) prevent the act of trafficking, (ii) protect the trafficked, and (iii) prosecute the traffickers. Using original interviews conducted with participants in Lebanon’s ‘Chez Maurice’ sex-trafficking case, results indicate that the preventive and protective services the law purports to provide are largely supplied by civil society organizations, and that victims may face prosecution or deportation for sex work. These findings present particular challenges to women trafficked during wartime.

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