Technically,the Prostitution in Bangladesh is neither legal or illegal.It exists as a result of inconsistencies in the legal framework.prostitutes do not have any legal protection,nor do the Bangladesh government take legal measures to combart it.
In the whole of Bangladesh, there are about 14 well known brothels where women and girl child get involved in the sex trade.As is the case in many south Asian countries,they are underprevlledged,abused,exploited and face harsh conditions of living.they are powerless and vulnerable towards brothel landlords, madam (old sex workers),pimps,traffickers,mastan,who in most cases have the blessings of the local authorities including the police.
Commercial sex workers do not enjoy any rights like any other citizens in the country,which is ensured in the constitution of the people;s Republic of Bangladesh. The right to equal and adequate living standards,life and personal property,protection by the law and legal remedies,own property,movement, and simply the right and freedom to be free from exploitation of any kind are some of the common violations,on which the government authorities tend to prefer to turn a blind eye!
Over the years, the government of Bangladesh has enacted several laws in order to regulate the commercial sex work/prostitution,with greater focus on preventing women and girl child from sexual exloitation, but in actual sense, the opposite has been very vivid and practical! we see young girls recruited into sex work and bonded to brothel based prostitution through the system of signing affidavit,a legal practice which gives formal legitimization to an offence handed by law. This however, is not written anywhere in their regulations,laws, or even in their constitution!
In Faridpur, one of the major towns in Bangladesh, there are two major brothels with a population of 1055 sex workers staying there.One brothel is situated at the bank of biggest river known as PADMA(check the pictures below).Every year, the river overflows, causing alarming floods, wash away and or cause diverstation to thousands of houses,and sometimes causing deaths to many brothel based sex workers and their children. forinstance, in 2007, the floods caused devastating demage to over 600 houses in C&B Ghat brothel.And once such and other incidences happen, the sex workers are not allowed to enter public places for shelter. if they go outside the brothel areas, they are punished and tortured by the local fundamentalists.
on 23rd June 2009, the local fundamentarists burnt one of the biggest brothel around PADMA river and the entire sex workers and their families were left stranded and helpless! few local organisations like, Shapla Mohila Sangstha (SMS) donated to them emergency food, clothes,beddings and utensils.
As human beings, i belive such vulnerable people need emerse societal support to live a dignified and respected life because they are where they are not out of their own choice but because of the socio-economic,legal and cultural hardships.