Perpetrators of bacha bazi could face imprisonment or death penalty under new laws being considered by the government.
Bacha bazi has a long history in Afghanistan, which involves teenage boys dressing up as girls and dance for male patrons. Some are also used for sexual intercourse.
However, in a move to crackdown on the practice, Afghan government is considering to revise the penal code. The perpetrators of sexual assault could face up to seven years in jail while those violating more than one boy could be given death penalty, according to the plans.
“There is an entire chapter on criminalising the practice (bacha bazi) in the new penal code,” Nader Naderi, a senior advisor to President Ashraf Ghani, told AFP.
He said that the code is expected to be adopted this month. “This is going to be a significant step towards stopping this ugly practice.”
The report added that according to the chapter, bacha bazi victims cannot be prosecuted.
U.N. and right officials have repeatedly urged the Afghan government to address the problem of bacha bazi.
Last year, AFP in a report said that the Taliban were using boys or sex slaves to carry out insider attacks.