A year after Afghanistan strengthened its human trafficking laws to prohibit the use of boys for sexual entertainment, experts say the crime is still on the rise. It is generally a very taboo topic in Afghanistan, but officials finally acknowledged the problem once militants started using these boys as weapons, forcing them to become suicide bombers. Thomson Reuters Foundation reports:.
The odd men who had come to the party were expecting a dancing boy, or bacha bereesh. Some were drinking while others were smoking hashish in open windows, looking down into the street of the middle-class Kabul district of Karte-Char as they anticipated the boy's arrival. The year-old Hazara youth was known as "the Chinoise" for his striking oriental features.
With the looming withdrawal of Nato troops and a persistent insurgent threat, Afghanistan is in a precarious position. Innumerable tragedies have beleaguered rural Afghans throughout the past decades of conflict — perpetual violence, oppression of women, and crushing poverty have all contributed to the Hobbesian nature of life in the Afghan countryside. While the Afghan government has been able to address some of these issues since the Taliban's ouster inarchaic social traditions and deep-seated gender norms have kept much of rural Afghanistan in a medieval state of purgatory.
Skip to content. A teenage Afghan boy who dances at parties poses at an undisclosed location in the northern city of Mazar-I-Shariff November 13, They are known as "bacha bereesh", boys without beards, teenage boys who dress up as girls and dance for male patrons at parties in northern Afghanistan.
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In Afghanistan today, in the midst of war and endemic poverty, an ancient tradition — banned when the Taliban were in power — has re-emerged across the country: Many hundreds of boys, often as young as 11, are being lured off the streets on the promise of a new life, many unaware that their real fate is to be used for entertainment and sex. With remarkable access inside a sexual exploitation ring operating in Afghanistan, an Afghan journalist investigates this illegal practice, talking with the boys and their masters, and documenting how the Afghan authorities responsible for stopping these crimes are sometimes themselves complicit in the practice. By submitting comments here, you are consenting to these rules:.
But Ahmad Javed, not his real namelounging on a chair near the public toilets, was there for business. The year-old was waiting for customers looking for sex at the shrine, revered as the burial place of Ali, the son-in-law of Prophet Muhammad. Javed said that many of his sex worker friends also came to the mosque complex to find customers. Human rights activists say there is a flourishing trade in sex with young boys in the northern province of Balkh.
This watchdog entity interviewed 37 individuals and organizations involved in the Afghan reconstruction programs and found that 24 were aware of child sexual abuse. Some had the impression it was a cultural norm they had to live with, while others were unsure if and how to report it. One non-governmental organization representative told SIGAR, " Bacha bazi is very sensitive, and those involved are in high positions within the Afghan military, which makes going after these individuals very difficult.