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U.N.: Gay teenage
boys in Iraq forced into prostitution

U.N.: Gay teenage
boys in Iraq forced into prostitution

The United Nations' news agency reports that teenage boys in Iraq, many of them gay, are being forced into prostitution by street gangs or poverty. The agency, IRIN, says some families, under economic pressure from the conflict in Iraq, have hired out their sons, some as young as 13, to prostitution rings. In other cases the boys keep their activity secret from their family because the punishment prescribed by Islamic law for homosexual activity is death. One self-identified gay 16-year-old called his life a "disaster today," explaining to IRIN that he was blackmailed into commercial sex work by a man who took pictures of him in bed after they'd had sex. Government officials told the U.N. reporter they're aware of the problem but don't have the resources to address it. Nongovernmental organizations like the Red Crescent say they're working on the issue as well but are hampered by lack of funding and threats from the gangs. (Sirius OutQ News)

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