Armed Conflict, War Rape, and the Commercial Trade in Women and Children’s Labour


Farr, Kathryn. 2009. “Armed Conflict, War Rape, and the Commercial Trade in Women and Children’s Labour.” Pakistan Journal of Women’s Studies: Alam-e-Niswan 16 (1 & 2): 1-31.

Author: Kathryn Farr


This research examined militarized sexual violence and the commercial trade in women and children in twenty three countries with ongoing or recently- ended civil wars. Findings indicate a progressive connection between assaultive violence against women during armed conflict and the commercial trade in women and children for sexual and other labour. Today’s armed conflicts target civilian in their homes and towns, in flight from violence, and in refugee and IDP settlements which are largely populated by women and children. In these wars, women suffer severe declines in their economic and security positions, and are at severely increased risk of sexual assaults by military combatants and numerous other war-related groups. Rebel and militia groups’ demands for sexual and other labour lead to both sexual enslavement and the trade of enslaved women and children. War-traumatized women and girls fall prey to traffickers, and trafficking across borders is carried out with relative impunity. With the expansion of supply and demand, sex industries gain a foothold in developing and transitioning civil- war-torn countries, and retain their prominence in traditional trafficking destination countries in the economic North, the Gulf states, and parts of South and Southeast Asia.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Combatants, Displacement & Migration, Refugee/IDP Camps, Gender, Women, Girls, Gender-Based Violence, Livelihoods, Sexual Livelihoods, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Militias, Non-State Armed Groups, Security, Sexual Violence, Sexual Slavery, SV against Women, Trafficking, Labor Trafficking, Sex Trafficking, Violence

Year: 2009

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