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. It’s calledÂ Bacha Bazi, translated literally as “boy play.” Hundreds of boys, some as young as eleven, street orphans or boys bought from poor families by former warlords and powerful businessmen, are dressed in woman’s clothes, taught to sing and dance for the entertainment of male audiences, and then sold to the highest bidder or traded among the men for sex. With remarkable access inside a Bacha Bazi ring operating in Northern Afghanistan, Najibullah Quraishi, an Afghan journalist, investigates this practice, still illegal under Afghan law, talking with the boys, their families, and their masters, exposing the sexual abuse and even murders of the boys, and documenting how Afghan authorities responsible for stopping these crimes are sometimes themselves complicit in the practice.
Afghanistan’s war on children
Sexual slavery involving boys as young as 10 is being condoned and in many cases protected by authorities in northern Afghanistan. Â ABC News