220 Children’s Legal Rights Journal [Vol. 37:2 2017]
Part II of this article will address the challenges of ending trafficking through Syrian laws
and governmental actions. Several foreign countries have experimented with models of legalized
sex work within government-regulated sectors to address the growing issue of sex trafficking.8
The Syrian government has made limited progress in protecting trafficking victims, and lacks
any formal identification procedures to identify victims among vulnerable populations.9 The
government does not provide any sort of anti-trafficking training to its law enforcement officers,
and has not made any clear efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts.10 Lastly, Part
II will analyze the corruption of the Syrian government, and how this has led to a complete lack
of efforts in the elimination of sex trafficking in the country.
Part III will highlight the current organizations aimed at addressing the Syrian minor sex
trafficking problem, including UNICEF (United Nations International Children's Fund) and
ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography, and Trafficking of Children for Sexual
Persons). As governments become increasingly aware of child trafficking problems, most
develop proactive efforts to rescue children from sites of commercial sexual exploitation and/or
forced labor.11 Many governments have developed a system to address trafficking and continue
victim protection while still trying to prevent further sexual crimes. Part III will also analyze the
actions of both the United Nations and, specifically, the United States authorized for and against
Syrian refugees. The United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in
Persons, especially Women and Children, has compelled states to enact laws targeting the
demand for minor sexual exploitation, and has further spurred humanitarian intervention in
Syria.12 The United States government has also intervened, however only in regard to the attacks
by the Islamic State on Syria.13
Finally, Part IV will detail recommendations to combat sex trafficking of Syrian minors.
This includes guidelines of actions that the Syrian government and its law enforcement officers
need to take against trafficking offenders, as well as ways to improve protection for victims of
human trafficking. Part IV also outlines examples of laws and statutes that the Syrian
government should enact against kidnapping, pimping, and sexual assault to prosecute human
trafficking cases. This Part further includes possible options for other organizations and foreign
governments to help Syrian children and hold sex traffickers liable for their crimes. This article
concludes by emphasizing the responsibility of the United States to fight against and to try to
prevent these horrible crimes against humanity.
To fully understand and resolve the Syrian trafficking crisis, a brief history of the conflict
in Syria should be understood. The armed conflicts occurring in Syria began with an uprising
Phenomenon of Syrian Civil War, INT’L WOMEN'S INITIATIVE (Apr. 7, 2016),
8 U.S. DEP'T OF STATE, PUBLICATION 11407: TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS REPORT 1, 29 (last revised June 2008),
9 Id. at 238.
11 U.S. DEP'T OF STATE, supra note 8, at 30.
12 Cheryl George, Jailing the Johns: The Issue of Demand in Human Sex Trafficking, 13 FLA. COASTAL L.
REV. 293, 306 (2012).
13 Samantha Arrington Sliney, Right to Act: United States Legal Basis Under the
Law of Armed Conflict to Pursue the Islamic State in Syria, 6 U. MIAMI NAT'L SEC. & ARMED CONFLICT L. REV. 1,