AFGHANISTAN – Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed that there are at least “a handful” of child brides that were evacuated from Afghanistan with planes full of Afghan people rather than Americans when the Taliban first retook control of the country in August. Those child brides are said to have been left with their much older husbands.
Senator Ted Cruz questioned Blinken on the exact number of children evacuated with older Afghan men, as the World Health Organization has reported that over 50% of married women in Afghanistan were married as children.
The Associate Press reported, “U.S. officials at intake centers in the United Arab Emirates and in Wisconsin have identified numerous incidents in which Afghan girls have been presented to authorities as the “wives” of much older men. While child marriage is not uncommon in Afghanistan, the U.S. has strict policies against human trafficking that include prosecutions for offenders and sanctions for countries that don’t crack down on it.”
Blinken, however, did not express much concern over the amount of human trafficking occurring and being brought into the United States.
“To my knowledge,” Blinken said, “a limited number of cases where we have separated people because we were concerned…”
When pressed by Cruz, Blinken responded, “The cases I’m aware of? A handful.”
It’s been reported that U.S. Customs and Border Protection is also investigating many cases of child human trafficking since the evacuations of Afghan citizens to America.
“The concern is, we’re seeing a lot of family units with very young girls. These girls are brought into the U.S. as wives,” a government official said to Yahoo News. “It’s not a small number.”