NOVUM JUS • ISSN: 1692-6013 • E-ISSN: 2500-8692 • Volumen 13 N
. 2 • Julio - Diciembre 2019 • Págs. 41-55
Why the Issue of Bacha Bazi Deserves International Attention
WHY THE ISSUE OF BACHA BAZI DESERVES
HIDAYATULLAH NATIONAL LAW UNIVERSITY
Of late, the sexual exploitation of minors has become a raging issue for several nations across
the world. Among these nations, the South Asian country of Afghanistan sees a disturbingly high
incidence of sexual exploitation cases, among which the practice called Bacha Bazi has drawn
widespread attention and criticism from all quarters. In this practice, young boys are made to dress
up in feminine clothes and make-up, in a sexualized manner, and, subsequently, in a lot of cases,
forced into ﬂesh trade. The prostitution and slavery of these young boys has become rampant. This
paper examines the reasons for sexual exploitation of minors in general, and the resurgence of the
practice of Bacha Bazi in Afghanistan in particular. It details the Taliban’s role in abolishing Bacha
Bazi, as well as lawlessness in the post-Taliban rule, which became a major reason for the blooming
of this condemnable practice. The study also discusses the role of the taboo of homosexuality in
conservative Afghanistan in the ﬂourishing of Bacha Bazi. Finally, it analyzes the lack of willingness
of the international community to ﬁght against Bacha Bazi, and offers some suggestions for the
elimination of the practice. However, as important human rights scholars have noted, such a practice
is very difﬁcult to abolish, even when it threatens to challenge the very basic foundation of human
rights and civilization in the 21st century.
Keywords: Bacha Bazi, sexual exploitation, Taliban, war, homosexuality.
About the author: Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur (C.G), India.
Received: November 15, 2018; reviewed: December 10, 2018; accepted: March 12, 2019