KABUL - This investigation sheds a light on the scale of abuse Afghan women are subjected to when trying to reach Europe. Women with no documents and no money are exposed to trafficking by unscrupulous smugglers who take advantage of the situation.

Interviews with victims and organisations tell nightmare stories of women locked in the house, underage rapes, forced marriages to an extent that was difficult to imagine before listening to the witnesses and reading the reports. It is also a story of class divide that replicates abroad and a lack of proper assistance for the victims in Europe.

The situation of Afghan women came under the spotlight again after the hasty withdrawal of the Americans in August last year. The return of the Taliban raised fears, soon confirmed, that the small social gains of the past 20 years would evaporate. And yet, the social and economic limitations women had been subjected to by a deeply patriarchal society and the illusion of a better life abroad had pushed many to flee the country even before the situation got worse.


© Sara Perria

Team members

Sara Perria

Sara Perria has worked in Asia since 2015, most recently in Myanmar and Afghanistan writing for international publications.

Sara Perria

Monica Perosino

Monica Perosino is a journalist for the Italian newspaper La Stampa since 2001.

Monica Perosino

Lindita Çela

Lindita Çela is an investigative reporter based in Albania.

Lindita Çela
€10.100 allocated on 16/09/2021




need resources for your own investigative story?

Journalismfund Europe's flexible grants programmes enable journalists to produce relevant public interest stories with a European mind-set from international, national, and regional perspectives.


support independent cross-border investigative journalism

We rely on your support to continue the work that we do. Make a gift of any amount today.