Bacha bāzī (Persian: بچه بازی, lit. "boy play"; from بچه bacheh, "boy", and بازی bazi "play, game") is a form of child prostitution. Bacha bazi is a centuries-old tradition. It was common in central Asia until the start of the 20th century. It is still practices in some parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan  In the 21st century, Bacha baz may still be practiced in parts of Afghanistan and Northwestern Pakistan. There are different forms, but generally, it involves a boy dancing, wearing women's clothes. The boy also playfully caresses the men he is dancing for. Sexual acts are common. It is also common that force is used to make the boy do things he doesn't want to do. Security officials state they are unable to end such practices because many of the men involved in bacha bazi-related activities are powerful and well-armed warlords. As of the 2020s, despite international concern and its illegality, the practice continues.
Bachas should be between twelve and sixteen years old. Using younger boys is seen as a sin. Older boys, which may start growing a beard, may appear ugly. If men have sexual relationships with bachis, they are not seen as homosexuals. Commonly the father will recommend his boy to a group of male friends. The other option is that the father agrees to give his son to a male suitor. This way, the father actis like a pimp. This also protects his son if there's an argument among the group of men. Another form comes from the sourroundings: many famlilies were poor farmers, who had debt. The boy was given as a deposit to pay off some of the debt.
References[change | change source]
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I'm at a wedding party in a remote village in northern Afghanistan.
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