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Largely, the people view the brothel sex workers as the most disgraceful and see them as an ignominious community. They are kept aloof from the mainstream society.
However, changes have happened in brothels especially due to the intervention of HIV programs but there is still a long way to go. There are 14 registered brothels in Bangladesh. More than 20, children are born and live in the brothels according to different studies. Prostitution is not being legally accepted as a profession but has not been declared as illegal either. Girls are recruited in brothel through affidavit. Affidavit is a tool for Sardarni to involve underage girls into forced prostitution.
There are mainly 3 types of sex workers in brothel, Chukris Bonded sex workers , Independent sex workers and Madam Sardarni. Chukris are bonded girls and are ranked the lowest in a brothel society. They are usually forced into prostitutions and are predominantly below the age of They have less freedom. Independent sex workers are those who can work freely and earn. Madams Sradarnis are aged sex workers mostly retired who keeps bonded sex workers under them. They are the most powerful in brothel and have considerable control over sex workers.
Brothels are typically in a confined place and physical environment is poor and grimy. Rooms are congested, ill-ventilated, poorly lighted and divided into small compartments with partitions. It is difficult to comprehend how people live there year after year. I have found in few cases three generation of a family are living in the same brothel. The children who are born in brothels have the same rights as any other children of the society according to the United Nations Child Right Convention, and Bangladesh has ratified it.
However, from the very beginning of life these children face discrimination and challenges in accessing their basic rights. They grow up in an environment that is totally estranged from mainstream society in terms of life style, grooming, language, behaviour and custom. These children tend to have underdeveloped psychosocial life skills due to social exclusion and rarely get to see positive role models. Being a single parent, stigma of the profession, odd working hours and unhealthy brothel environment are major challenges for parenting these children.