Two Kurdish activists told BBC News a mock sex slave auction they produced earlier this month superseded expectations, saying “it’s done more than the protests and the demonstrations” have.
The International Labor Organization estimates 20.9 million people are victims of human trafficking worldwide, including 5.5 million children. The group Human Rights Watch details accounts of the Islamic State (ISIS) engaging in compulsory religious conversion, forced marriage, and sexual assult of men, women, and children, Al Jazeera reports.
Karam and Zaynab, two Kurdish activists who took part in a staged sex slave auction in downtown London earlier this month, detailed their emotional account to BBC News’ Newsday last week. Karam explained that their group wanted to “make it real.”
“No one has really taken notice to this. The idea was to just shock the audience in what’s just a barbaric and savage practice that was probably rare in medieval times, and is now becoming common practice in Iraq and Syria.
“We want to make it real for the people here so they could see how savage and inhumane these practices are. And these are being committed on a regular basis against innocent women that is upwards in the figure of 20,000.”
Zaynab told BBC News that, after the demonstration, she “couldn’t sleep that night.”
“I think it’s done more than the protests and the demonstrations that we did for weeks. People are aware of it. But people are not actually hurt by the situation, so I think it kind of shocked people.
“The role I played, I couldn’t sleep that night, I genuinely couldn’t. I was sleeping in my warm bed. And I knew that there was women, young children, being used as sex slaves. This is scarring. I just want people to be aware of what’s really going on around them.”
Advertisement - story continues below