Here’s something real the United Nations could do to help women: put a halt to sex trafficking.

While the U. N. debates theoretical “rights” for women, Indian newspapers are reporting an increase in the sex trafficking involving very young girls who are preyed upon by Gulf Arabs who flock to the southern Indian town of Hyderabad (and other Indian towns) to indulge their sexual appetites. 

Scholar Daniel Pipes has culled information from these reports for a story in Front Page magazine. The Arabs engage in brief “marriages” with the girls–sometimes a night only–and then never see them again.

The Times of India reports:

“They are old predators with new vigor. Often bearded, invariably in flowing robes and expensive turbans. The rich, middle-aged Arabs increasingly stalk the deprived streets of Hyderabad like medieval monarchs would stalk their harems in days that we wrongly think are history. These Viagra-enabled Arabs are perpetrating a blatant crime under the veneer of nikaah, the Islamic rules of marriage. Misusing the sanctioned provision which allows a Muslim man to have four wives at a time, many old Arabs are not just marrying minors in Hyderabad, but marrying more than one minor in a single sitting.

“‘The Arabs prefer teenage, virgin brides,’ says Jameela Nishat, who counsels and sensitizes young women against the [problem].”

In an article on these “fly by night bridegrooms,” the Deccan Herald analyzes the causes of this disheartening social trend: economic conditions coupled with a devaluation of women–a real devaluation, as opposed to the things American feminists whine about!

The Herald notes:

“Wretched poverty, the spread of the dowry system and increasing commercialization of marriages in the Muslim community are some factors that have encouraged short-term contract marriages, says Gazanfar Ali Khan, assistant editor with the Urdu newspaper Rehnuma-e-Deccan. ‘A contract marriage has no sanctity in Islam. These are efforts to legitimize debauchery. I understand the newly married girl not only signs the nikah paper but also the divorce paper…this is haram (illegitimate) since there is no iddat period (40 days)… this is the worst possible exploitation of a Muslim girl,’ he says. He believes qazis are the main culprits as they take advantage of a person’s poverty and commit a fraud rather than perform a marriage….

“…Above all, Sunita says, the girl child is not valued. ‘If a girl child is sold or her life ruined, it is not a national loss, that’s why this is a non-issue, both for community and to society,’ she says.”