Middle East and North Africa – MENA

The gleaming cities of the Gulf are a magnet for migrant workers — with many trapped in modern forms of slavery. The most prevalent forms are labor trafficking, sex trafficking and domestic servitude.

Slavery in MENA

There are 20 countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Yemen; and modern slavery exists in different forms throughout the region. The most prevalent forms are labor trafficking, sex trafficking and domestic servitude, but forced marriage, organ trafficking and the worst forms of child labor are also prevalent in the region. 

Women, children, migrant workers, and refugees are the focus of anti-slavery programs, especially in  Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Iraq, Yemen, Oman, UAE and Kuwait. However, lower levels of programmatic resources are being dedicated to addressing the needs of the elderly, religious minorities, racial or ethnic minorities, and LGBTQ+ populations — those who are often most marginalized and susceptible to modern slavery. 

Our Solutions in MENA

Research: Our recent MENA landscape survey details the current state of knowledge and approaches by civil society organizations regarding modern slavery. The findings are informing our programmatic strategies to ensure they address gaps and further capacity for the movement at the regional level. Download

Future research will contribute to eradicating modern slavery in Lebanon, by working with research institutions to collect and analyze data in order to better understand the region and tailor programs accordingly. 

Partnership and Services: We’ve begun a regional podcast series with Sowt that will help build awareness of modern slavery throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

Future field programs will contribute to eradicating modern slavery by partnering and collaborating with local grassroots organizations to address the conditions that allow it to exist.

Our Partners in MENA

Sowt: Sowt is a podcasting platform which produces and distributes high-quality audio programs in Arabic, with the goal of creating an environment in which dialogue on and discussion of topics important and sensitive to the Arab listener around the world is the norm.

We plan to also partner up with local NGOs, international research institutions and other entities to implement projects and to carry on activities that will lead to eradicating modern slavery in the MENA region.


The Latest From The Middle East and North Africa

2021 Regional Forums Initiative Concludes

It’s been a busy past three months! The Freedom from Slavery Forum held three regional events focusing on Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa, and the combined regions of North America, Europe, and the Caribbean. This concluded the series of 2021 regional...

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