prompted by the concern over the spread of HIV/AIDS,
commercial sex workers have been the focus of a great deal of
attention, first and foremost with the aim of promoting safe
sex as a method of preventing disease. Even with the many
groups active among sex workers, and despite the
government’s obvious interest in the matter, there has been
no correct consideration of the total number of people
practicing the profession in Bangladesh. Rough estimates
propose that there are well over half million sex workers in
the country, with the district of Dhaka, Chitagong, Khulna,
and Shilet being considered “vulnerable zones of
matters related to the safety of sex work and the rights of
sex workers are to be addressed, it is significant first to
recognize the extent of the industry, its demography as well
as the conditions of work. One of the most systematic and
coherent studies of the industry was recently carried out in
Dhaka, a city of about eight million people.
has a traditional profile different from other district. But
as the HIV figures suggest, and as the survey confirms, the
traditional image is only a veneer behind which lurk many
secret dealings. The survey conducted by Rainbow Nari O Shishu
Kallyan Foundation(Rainbow Foundation) & L.R.B. Foundation
that has been working with sex workers and the gay community
in Dhaka for close to 1 years, estimates that there are over
five thousand commercial sex-workers in Dhaka. The Join survey
actually maps 3000 of these sex workers in the city area.
hidden business continues by four element sex workers,
clients, brokers and broker’s agencies. The Rainbow
Foundation & L.R.B. Foundation jointly survey focuses on
the attitude, behavior and practice of Commercial Sex Workers
(CSWs) in Dhaka and classifies them into four categories. They
are the Residence Sex Workers (RSWs), Street Sex Worker (SSWs),
Hotel Sex Workers (HSWs) and Mobile Sex Workers (MSWs).
Another two categories is also found such as Call Girls or
Society Call Girls (who typically have a higher socio-economic
profile and provide services to wealthier clients), this type
is come out of Hotel (HSWs) & Mobile Sex Workers MSWs).
And other type is Floating Sex Workers, who is also a mix
group; it is a sub group of Street Sex Workers (SSWs) and
Mobile Sex Workers (MSWs). On the other hand we can say all
type Sex Worker in Dhaka City is Mobile Sex Workers without
Residence Sex Workers.
Sex trade is not legal in Dhaka City. There is no any reported
brothel now. A famous brothel was in central and another
brothel was near the city at Narayangonj. About 6000 to 7000
thousand sex workers lived in there. After withdrawal these
brothel most of the prostitutes did not get any rehabilitation
facilities and a large number of them are still continuing sex
trade involving with residence and hotel in Dhaka city, Of the
total sample of 3000 Sex Workers, 2000 belong to the Residence
category. This category lives in residential areas and
operates from their homes often without the knowledge of
anyone, including their neighbors. Run by aged sex workers,
with their own network of regular clients, new entrants
soliciting services come to these family establishments only
through special contacts and they are only allowed admission
after their identity has been fully verified.
adolescent girls’ prostitution is booming in Bangladesh.
Adolescent girls engage or are forced into prostitution for
trafficking or socio-economic reasons. But in addition to
sexual exploitation, they face all sorts of violence. Rainbow
Nari O Shishu Kallyan Foundation carried out a recent field
investigation, the research confirmed that adolescents
girls’ prostitution is widespread in Bangladesh, although
hidden at first sight from foreigners, especially in Dhaka
city. Adolescent girls involved in prostitution are to be
found in residence homes converted into brothels or in hotels.
The majority are aged 15-18.
street workers, who number about 500, are the next largest
category. They get their clients by waiting on the streets.
Most of them run on their work separately, though some rely on
brokers for help in getting clients. The favored method of
work is to wait on busy streets, which make available custom
as well as relative confidentiality to the contract, as
opposed to the less frequented localities. Bus stops, railway
stations, cinema halls and river bank are the usual locations
where the contract is negotiated, from where they go to cheap
hotels, under constriction building, narrow park place and
lodges with their clients.
third category is made up of mobile sex workers (Call Girl),
who only number between 100 and 200. They also depend on
brokers. Every evening, some one or two girls are taken out in
a rickshaw or a car/cng(baby taxi) by brokers on particular
courses to visit particular points. Typically these girls are
sent to the clients only on the basis of prior appointments.
Certain hotels and resorts in and around the city are closely
associated with this arrangement, since it forms part of their
hospitality services. Under this system, the hotels procure
the girls for their customers through brokers who even make
arrangements to transport them if needed. In this category of
the profession, the girls generally have a different profile
from those in the other categories. Most of their clients are
short-term business visitors to the city. Given the nature of
their clientele and the locales at which they provide services
they are expected to be nice and well dressed. Consequently,
their rates are higher. Earnings likewise are highly variable.
The highest income earners are those in the mobile category
whole sex trade in Dhaka, it is said, accompaniments under
police protection, without completely surprising of police
CSWs have to face harassment. Owners of brothels that function
openly and street sex workers pay a fixed amount of money to
the police to avoid arrest and harassment.
Although the precarious conditions of the work, the sex
occupation continues to attract a stable stream of adolescent
girls. Most join the job because of poverty and financial
obligations, mainly family liability. Often women get involved
with sex trading because of trafficking or marital break-up or
they are forced into it. In fact, as many as a third of the
respondent said they came into the profession because their
husbands had abandoned them. Social-economical security and
stability is to bound to do that, other social factors also
have a role to play, as is evident from the fact that 5
percent say they enrolled the trade because their lovers had
most of sex workers is illiterate, are married, some are bound
to do it after trafficking incident, some have children and
are in the 20-35 age group. Half of the respondents have a
single child and rest of them two or three children or family
members to look after.
is suspected that large numbers of young and most single
female low-paid workers may also supplement their low wages by
occasional sex trading. Such as garment workers, cleaning
workers, domestic servant, hotel workers, slum dwellers, poor
female students, some of the married women living in the
community having their husband living abroad for long time.