Young Girls Sell For $165 at Islamic State Slave Markets; Price List Verified By UN Official
A United Nations official has confirmed the existence of an Islamic State sex slave price list that is distributed in Iraq and Syria to regulate how much enslaved women and children are sold for in the caliphate's slave markets.
United Nations special envoy on sexual violence in conflict, Zainab Bangura, recently told Bloomberg that while she was visiting Iraq last spring, she obtained a copy of an IS, also known as ISIS or ISIL, pamphlet that lists the varying prices for the different age ranges of enslaved women and children.
According to the list, which Bangura deemed authentically produced by IS and representative of real transactions, small children fetch the most money, with little girls being sold for as much as $165.
The discovery that IS has regulated its sex slave markets with the use of a price list occurred last November. IraqiNews obtained a copy of an alleged IS sex slave price guide that explained that the militant group was implementing the price regulations because of a decrease in sales of "spoils of war." However, the price list was hard to verify and questions were raised about its authenticity at the time.
Bangura, who is a former foreign minister of Sierra Leone, shared the the details of the list that she obtained and it almost identically matches the pricing guide that IraqiNews obtained last year.
While children aged one to nine years old are to be sold for the Iraqi dinar equivalent of $165, adolescent children between the age of 10 and 20 are to be sold for about $124.
Twenty to 30-year-old women are to be sold for about $85, while 30 to 40-year-olds are sold for about $65. Rounding out the bottom of the list are 40 to 50-year-old women, who are expected to be sold for about $40.
IS sex slaves mostly include captured religious minority women and children such as Christians, Yazidis and other sects of Muslims. Jihadis are mainly the ones who are the buyers of the sex slaves, although wealthy Arabs are also participating in the Islamic State trafficking market as well.
"The girls get peddled like barrels of petrol," Bangura said. "One girl can be sold and bought by five or six different men. Sometimes these fighters sell the girls back to their families for thousands of dollars of ransom."
Bangura explained that at the markets, IS militant leaders are first allowed to take the girls that they desire. Afterwards, rich non-IS Middle Easterners are allowed to bid up to thousands of dollars to buy the slaves.
After the rich outsiders are done bidding, the rest of the sex slaves are offered to militants at list value.
"It's not an ordinary rebel group," Bangura asserted. "When you dismiss them as such, then you are using the tools you are used to. This is different. They have the combination of a conventional military and a well-run organized state."
The IraqiNews report explained that the IS document proclaims that the group would execute anyone who violates the regulations set forth by the document. However, it is unclear if IS has executed anyone for violating the price guide.
A video that was published online last November purports to show IS militants at a sex slave auction haggling over the price of captured Yazidi women.
While one militant said he wanted to pay for a girl with blue eyes, another militant chimed in saying that he wanted to buy a 15-year-old girl with green eyes. Another militant said he was there to trade his sex slave for a gun.