News Sep 3, 2021 5:23 PM EST

US officials raise alarm on reports of child trafficking during chaotic Afghanistan evacuation

"Intake staff at Fort McCoy reported multiple cases of minor females who presented as 'married' to adult Afghan men, as well as polygamous families."

US officials raise alarm on reports of child trafficking during chaotic Afghanistan evacuation
Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

Following the frantic evacuations of Afghan people from the now Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, US officials are looking into reports of child brides and sexual abuse of young girls by older men who were also evacuated.

According to the Associated Press, numerous incidents have been identified at intake centers in the United Arab Emirates and in Wisconsin in which young girls were presented to officials as the "wives" of men much older in age.

"While child marriage is not uncommon in Afghanistan, the U.S. has strict policies against human trafficking that include prosecutions for offenders and sanctions for countries that don't crack down on it," the Associated Press reported.

An internal document obtained by the Associated Press "says the State Department has sought 'urgent guidance' from other agencies after purported child brides were brought to Fort McCoy in Wisconsin."

In another document "described to the AP by officials familiar with it," it states that at a transit site in Abu Shabi, Afghan girls told officials that older men who they were forced to marry to escape Afghanistan had raped them.

Officials said they are taking these allegations "very seriously, but add that the allegations can be difficult to prove amidst the large numbers of evacuees in numerous locations across the globe.

On August 27, a situation report was sent to US embassies and consulates around the world in addition to military command centers in Florida, outlining similar cases and issues involving older men and young girls. Some of those men reportedly claimed yo have more than one wife at Wisconsin's Fort McCoy.

"Intake staff at Fort McCoy reported multiple cases of minor females who presented as 'married' to adult Afghan men, as well as polygamous families" the document says. "Department of State has requested urgent guidance."

In addition, US officials in the United Arab Emirates sent a cable to Washington expressing similar concerns, with young girls being forced into marriage to escape and being subjected to rape by these husbands.

Human Events editor Jack Posobiec noted concerns over allowing these men to slip through the cracks, evacuating them over dogs that aided the military.

President Joe Biden has said that evacuees from Afghanistan were being subjected to background checks once arriving at "third countries," or screening centers before their final destinations.

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