Frontline's "The Dancing Boys of Afghanistan"
We just got around to watching Frontline’s late April report called “The Dancing Boys of Afghanistan” — it’s a horrific and mind-blowing look into the world of “bacha bazi,” or “boy play”:
…Afghan journalist Najibullah Quraishi (Behind Taliban Lines) returns to his native land to expose an ancient practice that has been brought back by powerful warlords, former military commanders and wealthy businessmen. Known as “bacha bazi” (literal translation: “boy play”), this illegal practice exploits street orphans and poor boys, some as young as 11, whose parents are paid to give over their sons to their new “masters.” The men dress the boys in women’s clothes and train them to sing and dance for the entertainment of themselves and their friends. According to experts, the dancing boys are used sexually by these powerful men.
The hour-long investigation exposes the corruption, hypocrisy and human callousness operating throughout much of Afghanistan — and that’s just a part of the sexual exploitation and slavery of children occurring across the globe (as you can see from this 12-minute Ted Talk by Sunitha Krishnan). You can watch the Frontline episode online in its entirety — it’s well worth your time.