Marrying off Mauritanian girls as young as six years old to men in Gulf States is turning into a profitable trafficking enterprise as a typically rural marriage practice migrates to the city, according to urban families. Sidi Mohamed Ould Jyyide, a sociologist in the capital Nouakchott, said what used to be a cultural practice where only symbolic gifts were exchanged has turned into a business in which mostly poor urban families try to sell their daughters to wealthy families in marriage. Based on a girl's beauty and age her family can demand from USD 4,000 to tens of thousands of dollars, according to Jyyide. (IRIN)

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