Geneva- The German authorities should open an urgent investigation into the soliciting of prostitution by members of the German security agencies responsible for protecting refugee camps, says the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor. If true, it would only indicate a highly dangerous situation where refugees are sexually exploited and forced into the sex industry, especially that they have already been subject to difficult circumstances.
Testimonies by a number of asylum seekers and workers in the camps have been documented in a German television report that guards are convincing young refugees to engage in prostitution for money. One of the guards said that he was paid 20 euros for working as an intermediary for sexual encounters with the victim. An Afghan asylum seeker said he was forced by a security guard to have sex for money, and promised him a financial reward of up to 40 euros for the work. The asylum seeker said he had agreed to the offer because of his need for money. He added, “I was ashamed and embarrassed of what I was doing, but I needed money.”
The guards targeted young male refugees mainly because of the high prices they receive for providing services to networks active in the sex industry in Germany, the report pointed out. This has been confirmed by a security official saying, “We are looking for young people aged 16 and above, attractive and young. The younger the age, the higher the price.”
Reports by relief and aid charities in Germany recorded a significant increase in the number of young migrants resorting to prostitution in Germany. The Berlin Tiergarten Park became a hot spot for older people paying for sex with young refugee youth. A United Nations report released last month said more than 75 percent of minor migrants to Europe were subjected to forced labor, sexual abuse and other forms of exploitation.
“It is highly alarming that security guards whose duty is to protect refugee camps are rather sexually exploiting refugees,” says Ihsan Adel, Euro-Med legal advisor. “Security guards are the first to meet with asylum seekers and instead of protecting them, they persuade them to go into prostitution; taking advantage of their desperate need for money.”
“Joining the prostitution industry cannot be justified whatsoever. Given the severe social and economic conditions, lack of space, and maltreatment, asylum seekers are forced to take the job. Despite such violations, effective oversight of security services in refugee camps is not taking effect yet,” Ihsan adds.
Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor calls on the German authorities to open an urgent investigation and to hold individuals charged with sexual abuse and exploitation accountable, stressing that such practices violate international laws and conventions, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which prohibit sexual exploitation and forced prostitution. Euro-Med further urges the German government to implement effective monitoring in refugee camps and to provide minimal level of basic human assistance.