Years of civil war and aerial bombings have left Syria, as well as its people, devastated. Millions have had to flee for their lives from the conflict-ridden country and countless more are in search of a miracle or an opportunity to follow in their footsteps.
However, there are people who are also coming to Syria, looking for jobs and a future. If those opportunities sound too astonishing to be true, it’s because there actually are.
There have been reports of women from villages in Asia, especially Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, who are lured to the war ridden country on pretexts of good jobs and better futures.
They belong to far flung rural areas and are mostly illiterate women who have heard hardly any news of Syria's plight. Some either don’t have any ideas of the war that is going on in Syria while others are duped in to thinking they are traveling to other Arab countries. By the time they find out the reality, it’s already too late.
There heartbreaking tales of horror pile up. Sunita Magar from Nepal was lured in on the pretext of a job in the oil-rich Kuwait — she only found out she had been duped once she landed in Damascus.
Another woman from Nepal recounted her horror: “I didn’t realize there was a war going on [in Syria]. The agent told me it was like America.” She was shocked to hear loud noises in the city and was assured by her employers that they were sounds of the army training.
Some of these unfortunate women are brought in as domestic workers and some as sex slaves. Whatever their status may be, one thing is for sure — they do not have the means to go back. These women come from backgrounds of extreme poverty, often taking out huge loans to cover their travel expenses, and have families to support back home.
Some manage to get back home either by managing to reach out to a family member or through one of the few organizations working against slavery and human trafficking in conflict areas.
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Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters