Bangladesh is a Muslim country where prostitution is actually legal, and pedophilia is socially accepted. Separated from the original mass of India as Pakistan was, it is a small Asian country that has a problem with poverty and prostitution.
Decriminalizing a certain thing tends to have a strong, positive effect on even very negative practices, but there’s still something sort of inherently problematic with the concept of exchanging sex for money.
There’s no possible moral way to justify pedophilia unless you’re apathetic to the point of mental insanity, or a pedophile to some extent yourself. Australian academics and creepy people in colleges across the West have tried to insist it could be socially acceptable, but many would argue those people are disgusting, sick people.
For the past 200 entire years, the Kandapara brothel has existed in the Tangail district of Bangladesh. It is the second largest, and oldest brothel in the country.
In 2014, the building was finally demolished and the brothel was no more. However, similar to the destruction of Chicago’s Cabrini Green project buildings spilling gangsters all over Chicago, the destruction of this brothel sent prostitutes and people who work in the trade of sex spread out and went elsewhere. That wasn’t for long.
Local NGO’s managed to re-start the brothel, and now it is back.
Several photos were taken by German based photographer Sandra Hoyn in Kandapara recently, which is a walled city. She shared what she found with a website called Nextshark.
This photo below shows a 14 year old girl made into a sex partner for a pedophile. She was born inside the Kandapara brothel itself. That’s right: these girls become sex partners for pedophiles between the age of 12 and 14, if not younger.
This girl became a sex worker at the age of 14, after being ridiculed in school for her mother also being a sex worker. Before the age of 14, she performed “dances” for pedophiles who visit the brothel.
“The brothel is like its own microcosm, it is a city in a city.” Hoyn said to NextShark. “In the narrow streets, there are food stalls, tea shops and street vendors. I spent every day from morning till evening in the brothel and some days I forgot where I was. It was sometimes like everyday life in another city with it’s own rules.”
While prostitution is technically legal in the country, in Bangladesh sex workers are not treated anywhere near like regular citizens. In the Muslim country, they reportedly do not have a shred of freedom or human rights.
Poverty unimaginable by people in the West is obviously the main factor in these girls being led into it, but many of them have even less of a say in the matter.
This girl named Kajol believes she is 17, but doesn’t know her exact age. At the age of 9, she was “married” and sold to a pedophile by her aunt who offered her to the Kandapara brothel. Two weeks after giving birth to her baby, she was forced to start having sex with customers again.
This girl named Pakhi is 15 years old, stuck with a pedophile “customer” in her room at the brothel. Since the age of 14, she has lived in the brothel. At the age of 12 she was “married” and ran away. A man picked her up off the street and sold her into sex slavery at the brothel.
Many of these girls are victims of human trafficking, owned by a “madam,” required to pay their debts on a regular basis. They are not allowed to keep any of the money they make for the “madam” and they are not allowed to go outside or really do anything.
“Officially, [sex workers] must be 18 years old, but most of them are underage.” Hoyn said. “Some of them take steroids like Oradexon, a drug used by farmers to fatten livestock, to look older and healthier. The most vulnerable stage is when a young sex worker enters the brothel at the beginning as a bonded girl, usually from 12 to 14 years.”
Once these girls “pay their debt,” which could take 5 years, they become “independent”: it’s not really independent, just means they can refuse certain customers. Still sounds like human slavery to me.
“From the moment that a woman has paid her debts, she is free to leave the brothel.” the photographer continued, “But these women are socially stigmatized outside their ‘homes’ and thus often choose to stay and continue supporting their families with their earnings.”
When people think of Bangladesh, most of them think of India. But why is it that this country can allow pedophilia, sexual slavery, and local “charities” and NGO’s can actually pave the way for this and make sure it continues?
The powers that run Bangladesh probably have a cozy relationship with the Western powers. The country has a prime minister, and a president: sounds quite influenced by the West, as India sadly was.
Hopefully people will never fail to forget that this goes on.
All photos copyrighted by Sandra Hoyn.
(Image credit: Sandra Hoyn via Nextshark)