Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Sunday 13 June |
Saint of the Day: St. Anthony of Padua
home iconNews
line break icon

Hundreds of Sex Workers Evicted after Islamist Attack

© AFP

UCAnews - published on 08/29/13 - updated on 06/08/17

Women in Bangladesh brothel district say they have nowhere to go

Police evicted about 500 sex workers from one of Bangladesh’s oldest brothel districts yesterday after hardline Muslims from the local Islahe Quom Parishad group attacked women working at the site, injuring 30.

Police rushed to the 250-year-old brothel district in Maradipur town, 190 kms south of Dhaka, after trouble broke out. They fired warning shots before supervising the women as they left.

“Many of the workers have children and have nowhere to go,” said one of the sex workers, who did not give her real name.

She added that the Muslim group which attacked the tightly knit district of brothel houses looted valuables and beat up some of the women.

Joya Sikder, president of the Sex Worker’s Network, told a Dhaka press conference yesterday that the eviction was motivated by land grabbing. The site has remained in the hands of sex workers for generations, many of whom were born or forced into sex slavery.

“The brothel land is valuable as it’s located in the heart of the town,” said Sikder.

The evictions come despite a July 22 court order which prohibited the Home Ministry and police from harassing brothel residents, following an earlier series of protests by hardline Muslims. Sex workers at the site were told that they could stay there for at least one year until they could be rehabilitated.

Madripur District Police Chief Khandoker Faridul defended police actions at the site.

“The brothel is not authorized by the government. Sex workers have rented houses there and despite repeated requests from the house owners, they didn’t leave,” he said.

Prostitution is a grey area in Bangladesh. Although the constitution discourages the sex industry and calls forced and child prostitution a crime there is no legislation which bans sex work outright.

Maolana Mujibul Haque, the head of the group which pushed for the sex workers to be evicted, said that the sex workers were violating the tenets of Islam.

“We have been campaigning to make the town free of prostitutes because it is a sinful act and the brothel is corrupting local young men,” he said.

An estimated 100,000 sex workers operate in brothels across Bangladeshy. Many of them are trafficked and trapped in the industry due to the social stigma which means they often have nowhere else to go and work.

Originally published at UCAnews on 28 August 2013. Used by permission. All other rights reserved. 

Tags:
India
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
RECONSTRUCTED CHRIST
Lucandrea Massaro
This 3D “carbon copy” of Jesus was created using the ...
2
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
3
SACRED HEART OF JESUS
Philip Kosloski
Miracle prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
4
PRAY
Philip Kosloski
Offer your heart to Jesus with this prayer
5
BIEDNY CZŁOWIEK
Daniel Esparza
Were Jesus and Joseph really carpenters?
6
SPANISH FLU
Bret Thoman, OFS
What Padre Pio saw in the Spanish Flu of 1918
7
RAIN
Kathleen N. Hattrup
3 three-word prayers to turn your day around
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.