Dhaka University’s Sociology Professor ASM Amanullah disclosed the information at a round-table at Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP) yesterday.
In his research paper titled ‘Sex Workers Rights are Human Rights: Psychosocial and Economic Cost of Brothel Eviction in Bangladesh,’ the professor said surprisingly 7% sex workers are under 10 years of age.
He said: “57% girls started selling sex at the age of 10-16 and about 60% sex workers are underage girls.”
To compete the study Amanullah took 180 face-to-face interviews of evicted sex workers, 3 focus group discussion involving about 40 participants, 12 key in-depth interviews, 5 life stories, and 1 consultation meeting with other stakeholders in Fultala, Madaripur and Tangail.
In his speech he said: “Most of the sex workers in Bangladesh are young. About two million men buy sex from both male and female sex workers while above 20 years of age is only 8% and 16-20 years of age is 26%.
“15-20 thousands children work in the street as floating sex workers who joined this profession at their early age,” he added.
Blaming politics as the major cause for brothel eviction he said: “Major reason of brothel eviction was 53% local political pressure for grabbing land, where about 60% respondents stated that the eviction activities were conducted by the local political leaders followed by 10% community leader and 7% religious fanatics.”
In her discussion Secretary of Nari Mukti Songothon Hashi said, “Sex workers do not like to integrate themselves with the mainstream society. They prefer their selling sex rather than working in a factory or NGO”
In his speech, State Minister for Social Welfare Ministry Nuruzzaman Ahmed ensured that he will bring this issue to the parliament.