The practice of bacha bazi (boy play) has undergone a resurgence in post-Taliban Afghanistan. The custom generally implies a sexual exploitation of under-aged boys by adult men, and it was common among warlords during decades of war from the seventies and onwards, but later banned during Taliban rule. The resurgence since the fall of the Taliban has resulted in the spreading of the practice geographically to an extent that it is today considered a national problem by the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC).
Poverty and a lack of child protection mechanisms in the country make many Afghan children vulnerable to exploitation. Most of the exploited boys are not driven into the practice of bacha bazi by coercion although they may be subjected to violence and threats once they are engaged in it. Occasionally, conflicts around bacha bazi turn violent among the people involved in it. In some cases the victim and the victims’ family have fled from their original place of residence to escape threats from perpetrators.
A weak rule of law, corruption and impunity are among the factors facilitating the continuation and magnitude of the bacha bazi practice in Afghanistan today. President Ashraf Ghani has recently addressed the problem and promised that the Afghan government intends to undertake serious measures against this grave violation of law and human rights. This promise has yet to materialise and due to the deep roots of the bacha bazi practice in Afghan society and the structural factors facilitating its’ spread and continuation, the practice is likely to remain for a long time yet.
Rapporten har tidigare blivit avställd med anledning av att delar av informationen blivit inaktuell till följd av lagändringar i Afghanistan. På grund av att rapporten har efterfrågats publiceras den nu på nytt. Notera att inga ändringar av innehållet i rapporten har gjorts. En uppdaterad version av rapporten kommer att publiceras i framtiden.