Egypt is typically a major destination region for human trafficking and forced labor in the middle east and north Africa. While human trafficking and sex slavery is still a pressing issue in Egypt today, efforts are being made to combat the circumstances. While the actual act of trafficking is not as much an issue in Egypt, underage marriages and sex slavery is more common. Among the people who are generally more susceptible to the human trafficking in Egypt are the many Syrian refugees who have fled to Egypt for safety, only to be met with similar negative conditions.
Under the previous president’s time in office, the trafficking rates within Egypt increased, as well as the rates of underage marriages. Underage marriages include any woman, under the age of 18 years old, marrying someone with over a ten year age difference is considered illegal. This has especially been a problem when referring to men traveling from out of state. This means men would come from out of the country, to purchase young women as sex slaves for a certain period of time, and then leave the ‘marriage’ when they were finished. The men would purchase the young girls from their families from anywhere from $500-$5,000. This has become such a large issue because of the large amount of poverty within Egypt. Many families have to resort to this behavior in order to get the money they need to survive.
One area that needs to improve, along with Egypt’s in country regulations and investigations, is an increase of communications with countries who are known to be trafficking throughout Egypt from other countries. Gaining more connections with these countries can help to lessen trafficking, not only in Egypt, but other countries that utilize Egypt as a middle territory for human trafficking, such as Sinai and Libya.
The article, “Born Free”, addresses the topic of human trafficking and how it relates to their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2016. Among these goals are creating gender equality, to promote sustainable economic growth, and provide adequate employment for everyone, as well as promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development. The article discusses some steps that can be taken in order to begin recognizing and acknowledging human trafficking as an issue when working towards the sustainable development goals. An example the article uses are Carlson and Hilton developing their industry, training staff to recognize the signs of human trafficking victims. The Egyptian government has historically brushed these issues under the table, but are beginning to be forced to look at is as the substantial issue that it truly is.