Sexual exploitation, forced labour and exploitative begging as the main forms of human trafficking in the Middle East
In North Africa and the Middle East, human trafficking is mainly committed for the purpose of sexual exploitation, forced labour and exploitative begging. These three forms of trafficking were reported in nearly equal shares in 2018, each representing 30% of the detected victims of trafficking.
According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, the majority of the victims detected in the Middle East are adults, while children represent less than 8% of victims. Victims in countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) are mainly men (52% of detected victims), but females represent 69% of detected victims in other countries in the Middle East (Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, and the Syrian Arab Republic). The latter comprise most of the victims trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation and two-thirds of the victims for forced labour.
Source: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Global Report on Trafficking in Persons (2020)