U.S. officials are concerned that sex trafficking and underage marriages may be happening among Afghan evacuees, including in American refuge processing centers, according to a new report.
The Associated Press reported Friday afternoon, “U.S. officials are looking into reports that in the frantic evacuation of desperate Afghans from Kabul, older men were admitted together with young girls they claimed as ‘brides’ or otherwise sexually abused.”
The places of concern included refugee processing centers at Fort McCoy in Wisconsin, and in the United Arab Emirates, where some refugees were sent after departing from Afghanistan. The report said there were several reported cases of older men claiming young girls were their “wives” during processing.
U.S. officials at these centers were requesting “urgent guidance” from the State Department as internal documents viewed by the Associated Press reveal. Other exclusive information obtained by the AP alleges that young women have described being raped or being forced to marry older men as a path out of Afghanistan during the U.S.’s chaotic exit. The withdrawal officially concluded on Monday.
“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 AP’s report continued.
The State Department was unable to comment on specifics when asked by the AP, but they did say that they take allegations of sex trafficking seriously. They added that the rushed nature of the withdrawal made many specific allegations of wrongdoing difficult to verify and track down.
An August 27 report from Wisconsin’s 60,000-acre Fort McCoy was sent out to American embassies, consulates, and other military bases entitled “Afghanistan Task Force SitRep No. 63.” According to the report, there were concerns of polygamy and of younger girls being married to much older men.
“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.”
CNN reported a similar story Thursday on refugees at a United Arab Emirates processing center, alleging that some men who were qualified for evacuation had been paid by frantic families to either marry young women or pretend to be their husbands in order to leave the country.
As The Daily Wire has previously reported, efforts to evacuate Afghanistan were very rushed, and it is believed hundreds of Americans and thousands of American-allied Afghans did not make it out of the country, which is now under the control of the Taliban. Furthermore, there have been other instances of individuals with criminal connections being evacuated out of the country and found in Germany.