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Wagner Calls On State Department to Protect Afghan Child Refugees From Sexual Exploitation

Sep 8, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C.  – Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO), Vice Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement regarding recent reports of alleged forced marriage and sexual abuse of Afghan child refugees.

“It is our responsibility to ensure that every single child under the care of the United States government is protected from sexual exploitation and human trafficking, and the State Department must take all necessary action to protect these vulnerable girls.  The Associated Press published a report stating that United States officials have ‘identified numerous incidents’ of suspected forced marriage among Afghan girls and older male refugees.   The report outlines many concerns among U.S. officials that Afghan girls have been forced into marriage and are being held in the United States.  It has also been reported that these young girls have suffered rape and sexual abuse by the men they were forced to marry in order to flee the Taliban.

“The horror these young girls are enduring is absolutely unacceptable and illegal.  I am calling on the State Department to fully account for the number of children under U.S. care that are suspected victims of forced marriage or sexual assault.  Secretary Blinken must provide this accounting during his testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs this Monday, September 13th, 2021.”

Read Rep. Wagner’s full letter to Secretary Blinken here.