by Oliver Lane
An 11-year-old girl was sold from her home in Spain to be married
off to a man who repeatedly raped and beat her. Spanish police have
revealed the victim was also forced to pick fruit and vegetables without
Five members of two families, one selling and one buying, have been
detained and charged with crimes including trafficking, sexual abuse,
rape, abuse and labour exploitation, reports TheLocal.es.
A spokesman for the force said: “a minor was sold by her parents for
17,000 euros with the goal of contracting marriage at an engagement
party in Romania”.
She travelled from her home to another city in Spain to live with the
family of her new husband-to-be, where family members would “constantly
insult, threaten and hit her, and force her to have sex”. When the girl
pleaded with her mother, the family offered to give her back – but only
if they paid back some of the money.
As soon as the family realised they were being monitored by police,
they immediately put the abused girl on a bus back to her parents.
The trade in wives, who are often criminally young, accross Europe by
Roma Gypsy gang-masters is an emerging issue, with traditional Gypsy
law known as the Pachiv meaning the girls are considered ready to marry
as soon as they reach puberty. The Associated Press reports this week
on the lucrative trade of impoverished Roma girls ‘bought’ by African
and Asian men in countries like Britain, Germany, and the Netherlands
for the purpose of so-called ‘green-card’, or ‘sham’ marriages. By
virtue of marrying the Roma girls, who are European citizens, the men
can fight extradition to their countries of origin on the strength of
having a human right to a family life.
Young, pregnant girls are most highly prized because they strengthen
the husband’s case to remain in the EU. Once the marriages have been
contracted and made official, the girls lose their immediate use and are
often used as sex slaves for their ‘husbands’ friends and relatives, or
turned over to smuggling drugs.
One such example of the abuse is the story of a young Slovankian Roma
girl, who was bought for £15,000 and trafficked to child-rape scandal
town Rochdale, before being ‘married’ by a “self proclaimed imam”, in a
ceremony that took place in an ordinary residential property. Most girls
are considered as being less valuable, with a spokesman for Greater
Manchester Police remarking: “the going rate for a girl is between