Asia-Pacific, Pakistan, Human Rights

Silent and Raped: Reality of Child Prostitution in Pakistan

Pir Wadhai is an extremely busy bus station situated between Rawalpindi and Islamabad, which are two major cities of Pakistan. This bus station has about 1200 buses that regularly generate traffic from all over the country, going in and out of the station several times a day. Someone looking at this bus station from the outside would assume there is nothing out of the ordinary about it, but locals know better. It’s the front for child prostitution.

Transportation Services or… Child Prostitution?

This bus station doesn’t just provide transport services to people, it is a major hub of child prostitution services. This is precisely where young boys are lured into child prostitution by older men who promise them a brighter future. The reality is that these young boys may never live to see this future come true.

Child Prostitutes in Plain Sight

This business is operating in plain sight, and authorities fail to do anything about it. The monsters who bring innocent young boys into the sex trade go unchecked as they continue to provide people a peek into the world of active child trafficking, sex services, and pedophilia.

Modus Operandi of Child Prostitution

They have their own way of operating. These young boys may appear as ordinary beggars during the day, whereas when the sun goes down, their profession changes altogether. They can be found standing by the buses asking men passing by if they require a place to stay. When asked what other services they provide, these boys answer proudly and say “beautiful boys”. These young boys are referred to as “bhai” which is Urdu for “brother”.

“They are seen as street children during the daytime. They survive on rancid leftovers often scooped out of garbage cans and at night they moonlight as commercial sex workers serving pedophiles.”

– Hamid Nawaz, Resident of the Area

Abundance of Pedophilia

As the sun goes down, the monsters come out to play. Those who sell, and those who buy. Older men who are looking to buy the services of these “beautiful boys” shop around after 7 pm to see if any boy fits their criteria. This area is between Madni Chowk to the Pir Wadhai Bus Terminal. This is the hottest spot for pedophiles to shop for younger boys. They pay around $1 to $2 for their sexual services. This is what the innocence of these young boys is worth to these men.

Child Prostitutes in Pakistan: Coerced at a Young Age

Personal accounts of many of these young boys show that they were forced to become part of this profession under false promises. Most of the boys suffered sexual abuse from either their family members or their teachers at a very young age. They started out at the bus station as dishwashers and sweepers, but soon realize that they cannot continue to afford their expenses on a meager salary. It seems like a better idea for them to succumb to child prostitution since it pays better than what they can currently afford. After all, how bad could it be?

Child Prostitution Brings Drugs and Diseases

This goes to show just how unprepared these young boys are for the life they are choosing for themselves. Since they work as child prostitutes, to begin with, they don’t have any access to either disease prevention or contraceptives. That basically means that their lifespan is shortened and they only live up to 25 – 28 years of age.

In order to cope with the difficult life they are so mentally unprepared for, these boys do not shy away from drug use. They give in to drugs so much that it often leads to both physical and mental side effects that are too visible to ignore. The locals have repeatedly complained to the authorities about the excessive drug use in the area by the hands of these “bus boys”, but the authorities fail to take any charge against it.

Child Prostitution: Why a Bus Stand?

People often wonder what the appeal of a bus stand is to the people who want to continue to take part in this sinful business. Manizeh Bano, who is the director of an NGO called Sahil in Pakistan, claims that a majority of the children who succumb into this business are the ones who initially run away from their homes for several reasons. The first place they land is usually the place they try to find work at which is how they end up in this business.

“Most of them leave their towns and cities through buses. The procurers are always on a lookout for such children. They lure the children by providing them with food, clothing, and accommodation, and before the child knows it, a client shows up at the door to rape him. Children who retaliate are accused of theft and taken to the police. Procurers act as benefactors and arrange for the bail thus influencing the children to act as guided.”

– Manizeh Bano, Director of Sahil (NGO)

The bigger question, however, is why the authorities allow such a business to run under their noses without doing something about it? If an action was taken, hundreds of innocent lives would be saved and pedophiles would be taken off the streets. If only.

About Maham Khan

Maham is a 22 year old Pakistani who is obsessed with pasta and Wonder Woman. She will be the voice of Pakistan in a place where it truly matters and bring light to matters nobody dares to speak about. Join her on this journey as we talk about issues that our modern world endures.

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