The War on Syrian Girls 227
Yazidi community, who have been forcibly brought to Syria and sold into human trafficking
rings or provided to fighters."97 These women and girls are then forced into marriages and/or
domestic servitude, and experience systematic rape and sexual violence.98 ISIL has also created
markets for selling women and children.99 They have also published "guidelines" to ISIL
supporters and soldiers on how to "capture, forcibly hold, and sexually abuse female slaves."100
D. The Plight of Syrian Refugees in Other Countries
While some Syrians have been able to seek refuge from their war-torn country in
surrounding nations, many face equal or even worse trauma and suffering in these supposed
places of refuge.101 Studies have shown that many Syrian children who have fled to foreign
countries are often targeted due to their unawareness and vulnerability.102 These children are
then sold and trafficked in the international sex trade.103 Victims of sex trafficking are often
removed from their home countries, relocated to nations where they likely do not speak the
language, and have no contacts from whom to seek help or protection.104 Victims are also
isolated either psychologically or physically from the outside world, making it impractical for
them to reach out for aid.105 This form of isolation is beneficial to the traffickers, as it makes
their victims less likely to escape or even fight back.
Statelessness is the lack of legal status, citizenship, or recognition by any country.106 An
estimated twelve million people are currently stateless, and these numbers are growing; many of
them are young women and girls, whose lack of legal identity denies them access to the
protections and rights of any individual country.107 Noha, a young woman who "says she is
eighteen but looks even younger," possessed a meritorious claim to citizenship in her country of
nationality, Syria.108 However, she was precluded from asserting her rights because conflict
rendered Syria incapable of affording her any protection.109 Noha had fled Damascus with her
family and was living in Jordan's Zaatari refugee camp for more than a year.110 The only way to
escape her plight in the refugee camp was through an arranged marriage.111 Her family arranged
for Noha to marry a man whom she had never met, to ensure a safe and protected home for her
101 See generally Bulut, supra note 5 (discussing the various horrors refugees often face when seeking asylum in
other countries, including forced marriages, polygamy, sexual harassment, and rape).
102 Bassem Mroue, Lebanon Shocked Over Sex Trafficking of Young Syrian Women, BIG STORY (April 13, 2016,
5:46 AM), http://www.bigstory.ap.org/article/72253307caef4863858d659ce6686808/lebanon-shocked-over-sex-
104 Lee, supra note 6, at 386.
106 Sheila Menz, Statelessness and Child Marriage as Intersectional Phenomena:
Instability, Inequality, and the Role of the International Community, 104 CAL. L. REV. 497, 497-98 (Apr.
107 Id. at 497.
108 Id. at 500-01.