Sex trafficking in the emirate that will host the next UN climate gathering

–Rapid climate action requires respect for the vulnerable


The United Arab Emirates is known for its wealth and futuristic skyscrapers, but it also holds an open secret: a thriving sex trafficking industry that lures women from Africa and traps them in the Gulf nation, new reporting by ICIJ and Reuters has found.

Emirati authorities say any suggestion that the UAE “tolerates human trafficking … is utterly false.” And yet, the case of Christy Gold, an accused sex trafficker who fled charges in Nigeria, shows how underground criminal networks leverage false promises and exploitation to push women into sexual slavery.

Gold flaunts her glamorous lifestyle on Instagram, where she posts photos and videos of lavish parties and the glittering gold jewelry she sells. After she was charged in Nigeria, she denied any wrongdoing in a statement to the court: “I am not involved in human trafficking.”

Anti-trafficking activists and officials say she is a key figure in a network that forces women into prostitution in brothels, backstreets, bars, hotels and dance clubs in Dubai. Three women who say they were trafficked by Gold recalled being told that if they didn’t comply, they’d be killed and dumped in the desert.


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