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My Sister, Nicole Vienneau, Has Gone Missing in Syria - The Beginning Of My Ascendance — LiveJournal
April 22nd, 2007
10:59 am

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My Sister, Nicole Vienneau, Has Gone Missing in Syria

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From:(Anonymous)
Date:November 10th, 2007 05:13 am (UTC)

Possible contact for sex trafficking

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Matt,

I am sorry if I seemed harsh in my last posts. It's just I don't want you to make a misstep and panicked a little. I am sure you have thought of all this though. I think we on the blog should start concentrating on the sex traffic angle and start locating sources. Nicole is a smart, sharp girl from hearing about her amazing life and travels. If she has been kidnapped for this then she will survive and do what she has to do to do so. Do not write her off for dead yet ok? Your posts have seemed to be reconciling yourself to this idea even though I know you always have hope and that is why you keep searching. I am proud of you. So proud. Don't give up.

Everyone, let us start working on this angle please (if Matt says ok).


Trafficked to Syria

The UAE is not the only destination for trafficked Iraqi women. Syria is increasingly becoming a popular destination for traffickers, according to humanitarian agencies.

A report released in May by the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR), the UN’s Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP) spoke of “organised networks dealing with the sex trade” in Syria. It made a correlation between the deteriorating conditions of Iraqi citizens and an increase in prostitution and trafficking of Iraqi sex workers.

"It is not possible to say how big the trafficking problem from Iraq to Syria is but we know it does exist," said Ann Maymann, a protection officer with UNHCR in Damascus. "It is something that has been kept quiet because people are afraid to talk about it."

Local activists in Syria say much more needs to be done to protect this vulnerable and increasingly exploited community.

Last September, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) co-hosted a workshop with the Ministry of Interior to raise awareness on counter-trafficking.

Maria Rumman, IOM chief of mission in Damascus, said the organisation was assisting a Syrian government committee established to draft a counter-trafficking law, and was waiting for international donor funds for a proposed shelter to assist victims of trafficking. Without such a facility, she said, surveying the number of people trafficked into Syria was impossible.

"The government agrees there is a need for new legislation and for a shelter," said Rumman. "But we have not received any reply from donors, including the US, for a year. The minute we have any donor commitment we will begin."

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