Comic Relief Khulna

Khulna street children. “Countless Bangladeshi girls are being sold into prostitution in India”
Last night I was watching Comic Relief ( an annual charity fund raising initiative) with my wife and son. We like Top Gear comic shenanigans and that is why we were watching it. Suddenly one of the “charity  causes” was aired. Most of you know my views on middle-class charity things…and I was about to hit the un-green standby button when a picture of a Dhaka slum appeared on the screen. ÂThe focus of the report was on street children and prostitution in Bangladesh. I decided to watch. Even though these video reports always end cheerfully and with hope, what was shown was very disturbing. My eight year old son was shooting me glances all the time to see my reaction and waiting for an explanation. He has been exposed to a lot over the years and takes a keen interest in the subject matter of the documentaries I am involved in ( which of course contain very difficult themes). I didn’t say anything last night…what could I say? And this morning when he comes downstairs  he will see the Independent and will find more of the same on his way to the concise crossword puzzle. Here is a very “difficult” article by the Independent’s respected Johann Hari about Bangladeshi sex slaves.

This is the story of the 21st century’s trade in slave-children. My journey into their underworld took place where its alleys and brothels are most dense - Asia, where the United Nations calculates 1 million children are being traded every day. It took me to places I did not think existed, today, now. To a dungeon in the lawless Bangladeshi borderlands where children are padlocked and prison-barred in transit to Indian brothels; to an iron whore-house where grown women have spent their entire lives being raped; to a clinic that treat syphilitic 11-year-olds.

Read the rest of it HERE