The Middle East and North Africa region is not the first area to come to mind when discussing human trafficking in the world. Yet this region certainly has human trafficking problems. To clarify, the geographic region referred to in this essay, the Middle East, extends as far west as Mauritania, as far south as Sudan, as far east as Oman, and as far north as Syria. This region is also known as MENA (Middle East and North Africa), but will be referred to as the Middle East in this essay. Discrepancies in defining the Middle East, as well as inaccurate information, can make looking for facts and information on human trafficking in this region frustrating. This difficulty is particularly pronounced because some Middle Eastern laws and cultures do not recognize certain forms of human trafficking as being, in fact, trafficking. Because of this, victims of trafficking are often not protected in the Middle East. Instead, victims of human trafficking are often punished because they are viewed as illegal immigrants. Forms of human trafficking in the Middle East include domestic servitude and forced labor, child trafficking for camel jockeys, and sex trafficking.
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