The War on Syrian Girls 229
Syria does not "actively encourage victims to assist in investigations or prosecutions of
their traffickers and does not provide foreign victims found in their country with legal
alternatives to their removal to countries in which they may face hardship or retribution."126 The
Syrian government also has yet to "fund anti-trafficking training for law enforcement officers,"
thus making it much more difficult for officers to spot a victim of trafficking in the first place.127
The 2008 Trafficking in Persons Report stated that eighty-six countries, including Syria, had
made no efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts.128 The United Nations reported
that, as of August 2014, tens of thousands of Syrian civilians taken by the Syrian government
have been subjected to ill-treatment and torture, including beatings, electrocution, and the
hanging of prisoners by the wrists.129 If the Syrian government continues to kidnap and detain
civilians without allowing them access to legal representation or contact with family, it could
risk perpetrating policies that counter the Fourth Geneva Convention.130 This Convention was
created to protect civilians during external and internal conflict in their country, and was ratified
by more than 100 countries, including all United Nations member states.131 The Syrian Arab
Republic has been a party to the Geneva Conventions since 1949.132 Article 3(1)(c) of the
convention forbids "outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading
treatment of detained civilians during a time of war."133 Furthermore, Article 25 of the
convention states that "all persons in the territory of a Party to the conflict, or in a territory
occupied by it, shall be enabled to give news of a strictly personal nature to members of their
families."134 To put an end to the trafficking of Syrian minors, both the country's laws and the
doctrines of other countries must be used forcefully and continuously until all victims have been
rescued and all minors are safe.
B. Lack of Action by the Syrian Government
The government of Syria does not "fully comply with the minimum standards for the
elimination of trafficking and has failed to make any significant efforts to do so."135 Syria has
failed to report any law enforcement efforts to punish trafficking offenses as of 2008; in addition,
the Syrian government failed to offer "protection services to victims of trafficking and may have
arrested, prosecuted, or deported some victims for prostitution or immigration violations."136
Syria does not specifically prohibit any form of trafficking in persons, but its government could
use statutes against kidnapping, pimping, and sexual assault to prosecute some trafficking
cases.137 Article 3 of Law 10 of 1961 prohibits prostituting a minor less than 16 years old, with a
128 Hughes, supra note 50, at 44; U.S. DEP'T OF STATE, supra note 73.
129 Meghan Monahan, The "Disappeared" in Syria's Civil War, 22 NO. 1 HUM. RTS. BRIEF 31, 1 (2015).
131 Id.; LEGAL INFORMATION INSTIT., Geneva Conventions, CORNELL U. L. SCH.,
https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/geneva_conventions (last visited May 28, 2017).
132 Monahan, supra note 129.
135 U.S. DEP'T OF STATE, supra note 8, at 238.