St. Lucy's Priory High School

Sex trafficking in Bangladesh

Bangladesh, officially known as the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia. Commonly known as the world’s eighth most populous country, it is also characterized for being a major sex trafficking area known worldwide. A major hub for transit routes, it is a source and destination which often extends to India, Pakistan, China and other countries.

While men are sometimes subject to forced labor, women and children are trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation and forced servitude. Vulnerable victims are exploited often with financial bribes. Families are tricked into thinking that they are being protected or offered jobs, while others are kidnapped directly.

Whether sold into this oppression or taken off the streets, many find it hard to escape. From working off the street, in brothels, to being exported or simply being used by an acquaintance, trafficking remains prominent.

From the young age of ten, and often younger, many girls grow up in this environment with no other option. Unwed mothers and orphans consist of the majority of humans trafficked since they have no family support.

Although prostitution is legal in Bangladesh, the Bangladesh constitution provides that the “State shall endeavor to prevent gambling and prostitution.” In response, various provisions of different laws prohibit child prostitution and forced prostitution, yet their enforcement remains limited.

Largely considered as “taboo’’ in Bangladesh society, the issue brings with it shame and silence. Because of this, most fear of speaking out and those who do, have little evidence in their favor.

Becoming victims of drugs as a form of escape, young girls are also forced to use steroids. Used in an effort to make them healthier and appear older to attract more clients, also known as Dexamethasone, Oradexon was originally used for livestock.

Susceptible to harsh treatment including various forms of psychological and physical abuse, the girls obey orders with the goal of earning money and paying bills, among other things.

The financial need of the victims is what causes the cycle of bondage to continue, sometimes even a lifetime. Until it is broken the victims have few options to free themselves from sex trafficking, especially in the country of Bangladesh.

–Frances Jimenez