Pakistan’s Hidden Shame
About four million Pakistani children are forced to work from an early age to help support their families. More than a million of these children actually live on the streets. Many times their only source of income is picking out garbage that can be recycled. Some of them work up to fourteen hours a day in exchange for a few coins.
Some of these children have a specific quota they have to meet in order to keep their parents from hitting them. And so they’re up at dawn and spend most of the day on the street unprotected and unguarded.
But that is not the only situation that is threatening the integrity of this vulnerable group. All across Pakistan, young boys are falling prey to a growing tendency that is deeply rooted in an old, shameful habit. Adult men are constantly hunting for these boys. They offer them money or sweets in exchange for a few minutes of sex.
There is a shelter that provides momentary protection for the street boys. The boys are grateful for the meal and the space to feel safe if only for a while. The social workers collect the boys from the poorest parts of the city and take them to the center where they can spend the day. But because they have nowhere to sleep, many of them hang around the bus terminals where drivers usually rent a bed to spend the night before their next shift. At this place, young boys are raped periodically and their abusers don’t see anything wrong with that.
One survey that was carried out by a children’s charity showed that 95% of truck and bus drivers admitted that their main entertainment came from having sex with boys. Some local surveys recently estimated that as many as 9 out of every 10 street kids have been sexually abused.
After being raped, many of the boys continue to have sex with adult men. Sometimes it’s because of drug addiction. After the boy is hooked on drugs he willingly sells his body in order to make money for his next hit. Sometimes it’s just hunger that triggers the behavior. The truth is that prostitution has become commonplace for many street children. It’s a survival strategy.
Where does this shameful behavior come from? Does the Quran approve of sex between those of the same gender? Find out now.