Girl kidnapped by child traffickers to work as a sex slave
A 13-year-old girl who was kidnapped by child traffickers to work as a sex slave in a brothel has revealed how she was force-fed cow steroids to ‘give her curves’.
The child trafficking survivor, only known as Rupa, revealed how she was forced to work in a brothel for five years.
Rupa works in Kandipara, one of Bangladesh’s 20 legal brothels ‘villages’, living with prostitutes and pimps.
According to Bangladeshi law, anyone under the age of 18 is not allowed to work in a brothel, and they need a license to state they are willing to work.
It is now estimated that around 47 percent of female sex workers were originally child brides, then trafficked into prostitution against their will.
According to the DM: She fell pregnant with her husband’s child, but he was killed soon after in a work accident and her family refused to take her in.
‘They said they couldn’t afford to look after me or my son. I wasn’t a virgin any more, so no other man would marry me,’ Rupashe told the Telegraph.
She was forced to travel to Dhaka to look for work but she was soon picked up by sex workers and sold into prostitution.
For three days following her arrival at Kandipara, Rupa says she was locked in a room and beaten whenever she tried to leave.
She was fed Oradexon, cow steroids, in a bid to force her body to develop and make her gain weight to look older.
‘When I was eventually sent to the police station to make my license, I was so scared of being hurt again that I just repeated what my madam had told me to say: that I was 18, and that I was happy to work in the brothel because I had no other options,’ Rupa added.
Now Rupa is forced to see around 10 to 12 customers a day to survive each paying a pitiful 200 taka [£1.75] each time.
Meanwhile, the last NGO-run medical clinic closed its doors in the brothel in 2014 due to funding cuts, and Rupa hasn’t been tested for any STIs since.
Rupa also admitted she was regularly beaten by her customers and forced to cover up her wounds so she could continue working.
Prostitutes in Bangladesh are often forced to work until they have enough money to buy their freedom, but Rupa says: ‘I like to dream about a better future. But I know it won’t happen for me.’
According to Unicef, 22 per cent of girls aged between 15 and 19 in Bangladesh were married in 2017 – while 59 per cent are married by 18.
Charity Girls Not Brides also says Bangladesh has the fourth highest rates of child marriage in the world behind only Niger, Central African Republic and Chad.
Child marriage is more prevalent in rural areas where 71 per cent of girls are married before the age of 18, compared to 54 per cent in urban areas.
But according to the charity there is an intrinsic link between child marriage and prostitution rates among young women.