Native to Afghanistan, these Bacha Bazi “dancing boys” are actually sex slaves, lured off the streets by pimps, taught to dance and sing, to wear make-up and to dress like girls. Then they are made to perform before large groups of men. ALL of them are sexually abused. But in Islam, sex with boys under 18 is not considered homosexuality, so it is allowed.
“Dancing boys” are a lucrative business. Powerful former warlords and businessmen love to watch them and will pay a lot of money to have their own boy for Bacha Bazi. Some of the boys are traded like swap cards amongst the rich and powerful and if they disobey their “owners” they are killed or brutalised.
The trade in boys is well known to the United Nations. According to Nazir Alimy, who compiled a report on the issue for the UN, there is no doubt who is funding this practice and why the police refuse to stop it. “According to our research these dancing boys are used by powerful men for sex,” Mr Alimy said.
Paedophiles and pimps search for young boys so they can sell them or groom them to be trained as “dancing boys”. In one case a journalist goes in the car with a paedophile named Dastager. As they drive, Dastager explains the type of boy he is looking for. Then in broad daylight the “dancing boy master” stops the car, goes to a shopfront and brings a boy back to his the waiting car.
According to a report prepared for the United Nations there is evidence that the practice of bacha bazi and the sexual abuse of boys is common throughout the north of the country. It confirms that young boys, some of them only 10 years old, are lured into life as a sex slave.
There is also evidence that this type of abuse is spreading throughout Afghanistan.”It’s true they make the boys wear girls’ clothes and make them dance in front of many men,” he said. The powerful customers are often former warlords who helped drive the Taliban out of the north.
Others who involve themselves in the trade of boys are wealthy businessmen. Under the Taliban, Bacha Bazi was outlawed. Today it is still a crime but clearly there is no concerted effort being made to stop the practice and the criminal activity that surrounds it.
BACHA BAZI – The Dancing Boys of Afghanistan
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