National Inquiry on the causes and consequences of Bacha Bazi in Afghanistan

AIHRC

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Children are one of the most vulnerable groups of society, but the children of Afghanistan are more vulnerable than other children due to various reasons such as lack of support mechanisms, extreme poverty, low level of public education and other social, economic and cultural causes.

Afghan children are faced with serious threats like kidnapping, trafficking, sexual abuse and sexual exploitation, drug addiction, murder, beatings because of continued armed conflict, insecurity, hard labor and forced recruitment into armed groups, exclusion and deprivation of the right to education, health and recreation

It must be said that attempts have been made for the protection and promotion of children's rights, and these efforts have resulted in some achievements, but these efforts have not been effective enough anyway.

Based on its legal mandates, the AIHRC launched a national inquiry on causes and negative consequences of Bacha Bazi (pederasty) in Afghanistan. The findings of this National Inquiry are obtained through interviews with perpetrators as well as with victims of this phenomena, local elites and witnesses of this practice. This National Inquiry attended by about 1900 people, including members of the provincial councils, representatives of institutions of justice, elders, experts, academics, representatives of civil society organizations and the media, security organs, religious scholars and the elders from the 14 provinces of the country.

Bacha Bazi is not clearly defined in the Afghan laws and there is no specific provision about it. Since this action is a kind of child sexual exploitation and abuse, it is contrary to the spirit of the Constitution and other enforced laws in our country

But article 427 of the Criminal Law prohibits rape and pederasty (with male and female) and states that the perpetrators shall be sentenced to long term imprisonment

The AIHRC’s findings show that 56% of perpetrators of Bacha Bazi aged 31 to 50 years, and most victims are children below the age of 18 years.

The spread and expansion of Bacha Bazi in Afghanistan has several factors and causes, such as lack of rule of law and corruption, ambiguity and gaps in the law, limited access to justice, poverty, insecurity, and existence of irresponsible armed groups has contributed to the spread of these phenomena.

In conclusion specific recommendations have been presented to the government and civil society institutions concerning criminalization of Bacha Bazi, identification of patterns of Bacha Bazi in the country, detention and prosecution of the perpetrators of Bacha Bazi, restoration of the mental health of victimized children, fighting the culture of impunity and strengthening  the spirit of respect for human rights and accountability in security detective and judicial organs in the country, conduction of training programs.

 

AIHRC


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