Cairo: Rich tourists from the Persian Gulf are paying to marry minor Egyptian girls just for the summer, according to a report.
According to The Daily Mail, the US State Department report ''Trafficking in Persons'' revealed that these temporary marriages are not legally binding and end when the men return to their homes in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait.
The tourists pay a ‘dowry’ to poor families through intermediaries with prices ranging from GBP 320 to GBP 3,200, the paper said.
The young victims, with some girls under 18 years of age, suffer sexual slavery and are forced to be servants to their ‘husbands’, it added.
No foreigner can marry an Egyptian girl if there is an age difference of 10 years, according to state laws, but parents and marriage brokers are breaking the laws and marrying off their girls for money, the report said.
Many of these ''brides'' are also targeted by Egyptian men and forced into prostitution, it added.
Dr Hoda Badran, who chairs the NGO Alliance for Arab Women, said that she believed poverty was the major cause of the trade. She said: “If those families are in such a need to sell their daughters you can imagine how poor they are. Many times, the girl does not know she is marrying the husband just for the short term”.
First Published: Monday, July 16, 2012, 12:19