Prostitution in Saudi Arabia
Prostitution in Saudi Arabia is strictly illegal. Prostitution is punishable by prison and flogging, unless the parties are also charged with adultery, fornication and sodomy, which can apply to both the prostitute and the client since all sexual activity outside a lawful marriage is illegal, in which case the punishment can be death.
Human Trafficking and Forced Labor
Saudi Arabia is one of the largest consumers of domestic laborers. With unfair work practices such as low wages, sexual harassment,extreme working conditions, and other human rights violations, many try to escape their employers. Runaways are often kidnapped and forced into prostitution. Foreign workers are most at risk for becoming victim to human trafficking, and domestic women workers are at an ever higher risk. Prostitutes tend to be mostly from Saudi Arabia, Philippines, Indonesia, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan, Vietnam, Kenya, Yemen, Morocco and Tajikistan. As of right now, there are no strict laws in force pertaining to human trafficking. In 2013, the government did not report any prosecutions or convictions of alleged human traffickers. Foreign prostitutes who are arrested by the Saudi vice police face deportation.
Young girls in Saudi Arabia are subject to becoming a child bride due to the lack of women's rights protection. Families have sold girls as young as ten years old as a way to pay back debts and to protect their families honor from premarital sex. These marriages are often temporary, which leaves young girls with nowhere to go except human trafficking. Because the Middle East does not have a law specifying a minimum age to marry, it is much easier for girls to fall victim.
Contrary to popular perception, Saudi Arabia has a thriving sex industry. Reports have stated that young adults have been seen engaging in sex parties while using illegal drugs and alcohol. In addition, pornography is also easily accessible to the youth of Saudi Arabia. Anyone with satellite can have access to internet pornography.
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