After its launch in October, Iraqi observatory for human trafficking victims, initiated its tasks in observing and reporting human trafficking related crimes in Iraqi capital Baghdad, and other provinces, through a trusted network spreading across the country.
In its first report, the observatory worked on documenting the crimes committed during November, which reached 13 cases, in Baghdad and other provinces, from using children for mendacity networks in intersections and markets, to organ black market and luring women to work in prostitution networks.
According to info acquired by the observatory, children in ages below sixteen years old, represent two thirds of the victims for November, whom are being used for financial gains, or being forced to work by their families, and by traffickers under the threat.
Information also indicated that government key officials and traders, are involved in such trafficking activity, using their powers in key government security positions, to aid those criminals in escaping justice.
The observatory also found out, that 40% of trafficking crimes, happened in Baghdad alone, most, committed by organized crime institutions, which have connected branches, persons or traffickers active in a number of provinces.
Observatory information also found out, that most of those crimes victims are children between the ages of " 4-15" years old, including women lured with promise of work.
Iraqi observatory documented three human trafficking networks, active in Baghdad, that operate through the luring of its victims through fake facebook pages, run by traffickers who persuade their victims by means of fraud, for the purpose of harvesting their organs, with a financial return between 7 to 10 million Iraqi dinars, which in most cases, the victim only receive 10% of, with the help of what is called a "medical middle man or agent", who provide fake official papers, with a fake guardian, to secure the passing of committee responsible for the organ transfer, whom in most cases, receive bribes between 3 to 5 million for their cooperation.
The first network operates on removing the victim's organs in illegal methods, in one of the "known" private sectors hospitals in Baghdad, by medical crews working with the traffickers.
The second network, works on luring the victims from southern Iraq, and transfer them to Sluimaniayah province, where their organs will be removed, after giving them a method of transportations from "Nahda" main park central Baghdad.
While the third network works on persuading the victims in twisted methods, to travel to Syrian capital "Damascus", to operate for the removal of the organs, in a government run hospital, given that the nation in question does not have conditions, for organs removal and transfer.
Regarding the mendacity phenomenon that spread across the country after 2003, the observatory obtained information about the use of Syrian refugees for mendacity purposes, as told by "M-E" a 37 years old female with green eyes, who escaped a devastating war in her country, only to find herself in one of the most prestigious neighborhoods of Baghdad, where "Abu Maytham " promised her residence in a house full of Syrian refugees.
"may he be cursed with a disease for forcing us to work so hard" says "M-E", whom face was turned yellow after spending more than 11 hours roaming the streets in her worn out cloths, moving between the alley ways of of karrada area, to get enough to keep her hunger at bay, and give "Abu Maytham ", the rest of the "profit".
The Syrian refugee also confirmed to the observatory, that she pays close to 100 thousand dinars a day, for the residence in Karrada area that is run by "Abu Maytham, who lured her into the slavery by pretending to run a humanitarian organization, working to help the Syrian refugees who escaped their country.
"M-E" is not the only person who were forced into this dangerous world, as she explained "there is four families from Halab province living in the same house with me, who also work in mendacity in other areas of Baghdad".
Various human trafficking networks are active in the province, the observatory documented four of those networks, working with private sector hospitals to remove organs, with the help of Turkish and Kurdish medical crews, as the victims are being lured through what is known as "agent's offices".
Traders working in these offices offer the victims financial and morale temptations, with the aim to lure them, including, providing a high class residence in most of the most known hotels, paying 5 million Iraqi dinars for a single kidney, and 12 million for a single testis, while in reality, the victims never receive any of that promises, after finding themselves inside dark rooms with all their papers taken, to prevent their escape.
One network works on moving the victims from Sulaymaniyah province to the Egyptian Capital Cairo, for organ removal.
The observatory documented two networks in Erbil province –Kurdistan regional capital- working on luring the victims and removing their organs, especially the "kidney and liver", in return for small amounts of money, starting with 5 million dinars and finishing at 10.
The organs transfer operations is one inside "private" hospitals, after luring the victim with temptations, as the organs are sold to rich Arab personal "especially Kuwaitis", as they pay huge amounts of money for those organs.
The observatory was able to reach and document a small prostitution network, run by a refugee from Ninevah province, who resides in Al-Kassim area, located to the south of Hilla city.
"A-O", the person in question, is forcing his wife to partake in sexual activates with other men, for certain amounts of money reaching 25 thousand dinars for one hour, by threatening to kill and physical assault, taking advantage of her weakness and his authority over her.
A person named "M-H", runs a prostitution network located in Iskan area, Diwaniah province, specialized in luring virgin young women from poor families, after promising them with huge amounts of money, in return from deflowering, the network also includes more than 10 young women, who lost their virginity after escaping from their families.
"M-H", also has another person working alongside her as her assistant, named "B-A", who works on persuading the young women, specially virgins, through social media, to join her prostitution network, in return for residence, food and secrecy of their work.
Iraqi Observatory for Victims of Human Trafficking urges the responsible and specialized sides, to exert more effort to end these crimes and cure the causes, while providing safety for the victims, and to activate the high central committee of anti-human trafficking and sub committees in Iraqi provinces.
The observatory points out, that tens of cases of human trafficking in Baghdad and other provinces are taking place on increased daily basis, which warns about the gravity of the situation, especially with reports coming in from the international sources, warning about the increase of this phenomenon, with the last placing Iraq at level two observation for the second conceptive year, according to a report by the United States Secretary of State published in June 2018, which promised to punish and prosecute a number of Iraqi officials involved in human trafficking, with political, economic and military sanctions that supposed to be imposed by the United States on Iraq, if the country did not comply and put an end to this trade, by returning to the third level in the secretary of state report.
The observatory also urges Iraqi security and judicial authorities to activate and execute anti-human trafficking law numbered 28 of the year 2012, putting hard sentences on those involved in those crimes.
It should also be pointed out that "Iraqi Observatory for Victims of Human Trafficking (OVHT)" was founded on the 31st of October 2018, as the first of its kind in Iraq, specialized in human trafficking victims and documenting its related crimes.