Yemen you probably know stands in pain and in blood – its borders breached, its skies darkened, and its people blockaded.
What you most likely don’t know is that Yemen has now become human traffickers’ new playground. What you most certainly will not hear from the mainstream media – God forbid the truth ever passes through their tight headlines! – is that Yemen has been sold out to the abomination of paedophilia.
Now if paedophilia is a reality and a crime few nations can claim to be spared from, such is its evil that most nations have at least been spared the ignominy of its open commercialisation and industrialisation. By that I mean that no faction or group has ever dared – to the best of my knowledge – to create a grand capitalistic industry on the back of this vile monstrosity in broad day light and without fear of prosecution.
I am not so naïve as to believe that human sex trafficking is not a flourishing business in the world of the international black economy. What I am saying is that never before have criminals who practice it done so so openly, taunting the communities they prey on, confident in the knowledge that since they have powerful patrons this gives them a cloak of immunity for what they do.
More troubling still, Yemen appears to have become yet another domino to fall in a well-organised terrorist system in which human misery is a tradable commodity. If we look at the broader region in its entirety, and more particularly at those countries which have suffered at the hands of Wahhabi radicals, we see a disturbing pattern emerging: Nigeria, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, and now Yemen. All these countries have seen vulnerable communities targeted by sex traffickers; their children sold into a system which profits and draws satisfaction from child abuse and dehumanisation.
Due to the tenuous political situation, the government faced serious challenges to combat trafficking, including substantial internal security threats, weak institutions, systemic corruption, a weakening economy, limited territorial control, and poor law enforcement capabilities. The government made no discernible anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts. Government efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenders were hampered by the absence of a law criminalizing all forms of trafficking and the government’s conflation of trafficking and smuggling. Article 248 of the penal code criminalized slavery and prescribed penalties of up to 10 years imprisonment; these penalties were sufficiently stringent and, with respect to sex trafficking, commensurate with the penalties prescribed for other grave crimes, such as rape. However, Article 248 narrowly focused on transactions and movement and therefore did not criminalize many forms of labor and sex trafficking, as defined under international law. Article 279 criminalized child sex trafficking under its “child prostitution” provision and prescribed penalties of up to seven years imprisonment, which could be increased to up to 15 years imprisonment under aggravating circumstances; these penalties were sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape.