Entries in War & Collective Violence (5)


Child sex abuse rampant in Afghanistan, documentary shows | Toronto Star (Canada)

Supplied photo

A screengrab from a documentary called This is What Winning Looks Like, produced by Ben Anderson. The film looks at the practice of bacha bazi, or "boy play", in Afghanistan.

U.S. Marine Maj. Bill Steuber, like most people in Afghanistan’s southern Helmand province, knew that local Afghan police were keeping young boys as sex slaves.

The practice, known as bacha bazi, or “boy play,” was an open secret in Sangin, a town of 14,000 in Helmand.

So Steuber sat down to confront deputy police chief Qhattab Khan, hoping he could convince him that the practice — which is as illegal in Afghanistan as it is in Canada — would cost the police the support of the local community.

But what Steuber heard left him shaking his head in disbelief.

During their meeting in November 2012, Steuber said, Khan mocked the idea that his men shouldn’t have sex with the boys. Without the boys, Khan said, using graphic language, his men would be left with few options other than their own grandmothers.

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“Gender Inclusive” Author Calls on UN to Establish Special Rapporteur for Violence Against Men

Routledge has published a book-length collection of essays on gender and genocide by Gendercide Watch Executive Director and Canadian Political Science Professor Adam Jones. While these articles were all previously published, and some duplication and overlap is inevitable with collections of this nature, nevertheless many of them are as a practical matter impossible to track down today, and having them all together in one place in permanent, book form is in any case highly valuable. The author calls on the UN to establish a Special Rapporteur for Violence Against Men in parallel with the rapporteur that already exists to address violations against women, and Jones even outlines in detail several of the most important functions to be served by such a rapporteur. Jones also reminds us of the shocking fact that even today, Article 11 of the International Labor Organization’s Convention Concerning Forced or Compulsory Labor allows for adult men between the apparent ages of 19 and 45—and no one else—to be subjected to forced labor.


The Dancing Boys of Afghanistan

As the United States deepens its commitment to Afghanistan, FRONTLINE takes viewers inside the war-torn nation to reveal a disturbing practice that is once again flourishing in the country: the organized sexual abuse of adolescent boys. In The Dancing Boys of Afghanistan, 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.

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Justice at last for gay war widower

After a decade of fighting to have the law recognise his and Larry Cains's love as equal, Edward Young will soon become the country's first recognised gay war widower. Laws passed in November mean that partners in gay relationships with serving and retired soldiers will, for the first time, be allowed to claim pensions - opening the door for the so-called "forgotten people" of our military heritage and allowing for more people to make claims that must be paid out.


Recognizing Gender-Based Violence Against Civilian Men and Boys in Conflict Situations

While gender-based violence has recently emerged as a salient topic in the human security community, it has been framed principally with respect to violence against women and girls, particularly sexual violence. In this article, I argue that gender-based violence against men (including sexual violence, forced conscription, and sex-selective massacre) must be recognized as such, condemned, and addressed by civilian protection agencies and proponents of a ‘human security’ agenda in international relations. Men deserve protection against these abuses in their own right; moreover, addressing gender-based violence against women and girls in conflict situations is inseparable from addressing the forms of violence to which civilian men are specifically vulnerable.