The struggles of conflict are multilayered, including the displacement of families, human trafficking and exploitation of vulnerable groups like women and children to name just a few.
In the case of the ISIS ridden north eastern area of Iraq, Christian and Yazidi women have been bought and sold in large volumes by the militant group for use in sex slave markets.
The main buyers are reportedly westerners and male citizens of the Middle East like Syria and Iraq, according to 18-year-old Janine, a former sex slave captive of ISIS.
During the young girl’s 90 day imprisonment in 2014, she witnessed women being purchased at markets and was sold herself to two men.
To locate her “buyers” the teen was moved to different locations, including a selling reception held in Mosul, a northern city of Iraq that is currently embroiled in a battle to be reclaimed from ISIS.
The teenager told the international French based news agency, Agnece France-Presse that during these functions, “The fighters circulated among us, laughing raucously, pinching our backsides.”
She said in one incident, a man complained, saying: “That one has big breasts. But I want a Yazidi with blue eyes and pale skin. Those are the best apparently. I am willing to pay the price.”
Outside of the markets, Janine said, “They tortured us, tried to forcefully convert us. If we refused we were beaten, chained outdoors in the sun, forced to drink water with dead mice in it. Sometimes they threatened to torture us with electricity.”
“These men are not human. They only think of death, killing. They take drugs constantly. They seek vengeance against everyone. They say that one day Islamic State will rule over the whole world,” she explained.
After three months, the teen was able to escape after stealing a set of keys. Now, she is living in a Yazidi refugee camp with her husband.