Human trafficking in the Middle East

Authored by: Tenia Kyriazi

Routledge Handbook of Human Trafficking

Print publication date:  September  2017
Online publication date:  August  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138892064
eBook ISBN: 9781315709352
Adobe ISBN:


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From a political, economic, and social perspective, the Middle East is a very diverse region. On the one hand, it comprises countries with rich cultural heritage and historic civilisations, currently suffering from political instability, armed conflict, and social unrest. On the other hand, it also includes young monarchies, which lack strong democratic institutions and traditions, but enjoy relatively peaceful economic growth and have achieved rapid development in many economic and social sectors, including education, construction, healthcare, etc. In this context, in respect to trafficking, the challenges faced, the responses formulated, and the reforms needed may vary across the region. Nevertheless, substantial similarities are prevalent, exposing common trends and shared areas of concern. For the present analysis, the Middle East refers to the geographic region encompassing the territories and States of Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, Jordan, Egypt, Yemen, and the six States of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), namely: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Oman.

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