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Garment Factory Fire Survivors 06
Saver
By zakir hossain chowdhury
08 Mar 2014

Afroza Begum, 26, jumped from 3rd floor of the Tazreen Fashion building. Since the fire, she has struggled with mental illness.

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Garment Factory Fire Survivors 02
Saver
By zakir hossain chowdhury
08 Mar 2014

Anzu Ara, 26, jumped from 2nd floor of the Tazreen Fashion building to escape the factory fire that claimed 117 lives. "Sometimes the intensity of the pain drives me mad," she said. "I break things in desperation. I wake up screaming 'fire! fire!' at night. I can't sleep."

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Living Inside the Walls of Bangladesh...
Jessore, Bangladesh
By Karim + Jenny
25 Feb 2014

Text by Jenny Gustafsson and Photos by Karim Mostafa

”I used to be happy before. Now, I cry a lot in the evenings. I cry because of my fate which brought me here.”

The words belong to Halima, a teenager with a sincere, childlike smile. She stands in a doorway in central Jessore, the last town in Bangladesh before the Indian border. The streets outside are busy, lined with vendors and shops. Everything is for sale here: bananas, rice, hardware, textiles. And women. The doorway leads in to one of Jessore’s biggest brothels.

Bangladesh has over 200,000 sex workers, many of them underage. It's illegal for those under 18 to work in the industry, which exists in a legal greyzone where brothels are neither banned nor fully lawful. Many hide their real age, and the "mamas" in charge of the girls – many of whom are former sex workers themselves – often give them prescription drugs for animals making their bodies sturdier and chubbier.     

Young girls are trafficked from all parts of Bangladesh to the big brothels, located at main transportation hubs like Jessore, Tangail and Dalautdia. Most are lured or forced into the business which, once they've entered is hard to leave behind. An entirely new, unfree, chapter of their lives begins as they are brought inside the brothel walls.

Halima, who thinks she's 17 but doesn't know exactly, lives in a small room that she shares with another girl. The brothel where she lives, which takes its name from the nearby pink Hindu temple, is an old colonial house painted in pastel colours. It's mid-day, few customers are there. Clothes hang to dry from the balconies, the air smells of frying oil and chili. A small boy with gets a shower from a bucket of water in a corner. 

”I dream about having a family, just like everyone else. But I don’t think I will ever have that life,” says Halima.

FULL ARTICLE AVAILABLE ON REQUEST

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Inside Bangladesh Brothels 01
Jessore, Bangladesh
By Karim + Jenny
25 Feb 2014

It is believed that 200,000 women work in Bangladesh's sex industry. This woman stands outside one of Jessore's five brothels.

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Inside Bangladesh Brothels 05
Jessore, Bangladesh
By Karim + Jenny
24 Feb 2014

The constitution of Bangladesh is unclear: is prostitution legal or illegal? If you're above 18 you may do any work, it says – but it also has a clause banning "unfair" work.

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Inside Bangladesh Brothels 13
Jessore, Bangladesh
By Karim + Jenny
24 Feb 2014

Girls and women brought to the brothels often spend their entire lives there. Getting back into society is hard, impossible often, because of the social stigma.

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Inside Bangladesh Brothels 14
Jessore, Bangladesh
By Karim + Jenny
24 Feb 2014

When women reach their 40s, it's hard to get enough customers. Those who have lived in the brothels for long help take care of children and cook for the others.

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Inside Bangladesh Brothels 15
Jessore, Bangladesh
By Karim + Jenny
24 Feb 2014

A woman residing in the brothel cooks lunch. Generations of sex workers live in the brothels.

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Inside Bangladesh Brothels 17
Jessore, Bangladesh
By Karim + Jenny
24 Feb 2014

Gulapi, who works at one of the three "Marwari Mandir" brothels, with her son Shumon, at a daycare facility for the kids of sex workers in Jessore.

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Inside Bangladesh Brothels 18
Jessore, Bangladesh
By Karim + Jenny
24 Feb 2014

Shumon, the young son of a sex worker in Jessore, spends his days with other children in a daycare facility opposite the largest brothel in the city.

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Inside Bangladesh Brothels 02
Jessore, Bangladesh
By Karim + Jenny
22 Feb 2014

Many women see their co-workers living in the brothels as their new family. After arriving to the brothels, most have no or little contact with their families.

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Inside Bangladesh Brothels 03
Jessore, Bangladesh
By Karim + Jenny
22 Feb 2014

Customers come and go, those who are returning clients know the brothels well. Many women have special relationships with certain customers, who often develop love for them.

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Inside Bangladesh Brothels 16
Jessore, Bangladesh
By Karim + Jenny
22 Feb 2014

Many women have opted to leave their kids outside, not wanting to see them grow old inside the brothels. Taslima, to the left, has a son living in a shelter home in another part of Jessore.

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Inside Bangladesh Brothels 12
Satkhira, Bangladesh
By Karim + Jenny
19 Feb 2014

Jiniapendi, 32, works as a sex worker in Satkhira, close to the India-Bangladesh border. She works as a 'floating sex worker', living outside the brothel system. These women are the most vulnerable, because they lack the level of protection that the brothel owners provide. She talks about rape and abuse and constant insecurity.

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Inside Bangladesh Brothels 04
Jessore, Bangladesh
By Karim + Jenny
16 Feb 2014

The street outside Marwari Mandir, Jessore's largest brothel, situated right in the center of the city, just behind the big police station. The police, the women in the brothel say, are returning clients – only, they never pay for their services.

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Inside Bangladesh Brothels 06
Jessore, Bangladesh
By Karim + Jenny
16 Feb 2014

Sabina, from a small town in rural Bangladesh, says that she's 18 but is in reality younger. She was married to a boy her family did not approve of; he left her and after that she had nowhere to go. She came to the brothel – her plan is to leave and take care of her brothers and sisters.

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Inside Bangladesh Brothels 07
Jessore, Bangladesh
By Karim + Jenny
16 Feb 2014

Halima, 17 years old, was brought to the brothel without knowing. Now, she has nowhere else to go.

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Inside Bangladesh Brothels 08
Jessore, Bangladesh
By Karim + Jenny
16 Feb 2014

The brothels in Bangladesh are connected through their owners, who often change girls between each other. The idea is that customers should be able to find new faces among the sex workers.

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Inside Bangladesh Brothels 09
Jessore, Bangladesh
By Karim + Jenny
16 Feb 2014

Most girls don't use their real names – they are called things like Jolly, Beauty or Brishti, Bangla for "rain"

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Inside Bangladesh Brothels 10
Jessore, Bangladesh
By Karim + Jenny
16 Feb 2014

Buying the services of a sex worker in Bangladesh is cheap. Young girls earn more, whereas those who have reached their 30s-40s may get paid as little as 60 taka per client (0.7$)

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Inside Bangladesh Brothels 11
Jessore, Bangladesh
By Karim + Jenny
16 Feb 2014

Many workers in the brothel are young, not older than 12-13 years old. They are often from poor background, tricked to the industry by people who promise them other jobs.

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Inside Bangladesh Brothels 19
Jessore, Bangladesh
By Karim + Jenny
11 Feb 2014

Many children are sent by their mothers to be brought up outside the brothels. A shelter home on the outskirts of Jessore is home to more than 100 children.

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Child Labor in Bangladesh 08
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By Anik Rahman
11 Feb 2014

A boy is collecting fruits to sell them in a local market

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International Palestine Solidarity Co...
Karachi, Pakistan
By Syed Yasir Iqbal Kazmi
23 Jul 2013

Allama Sadiq Raza Taqvi, Muzaffar Hashmi, Dr Meraj ul Huda Siddiqui, Mehfoozyar Khan and Mohammad Zazeh sitting on stage during the Palestine Solidarity Conference.

International conference on “Palestine: Manifestation of Muslim Ummah’s Unity” was held under the aegis of Palestine Foundation of Pakistan at Radio Pakistan auditorium, July 23, 2013, Photo by Yasir Kazmi, Karachi, Pakistan.

Speakers at an international conference on Palestine said that Israel is an illegitimate state that must cease to exist and an independent sovereign state of Palestine must be established.
Mohammad Zazeh, a leader of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), speaking at the conference said that the post-Gulf War II situation compelled them to reach Oslo Accord but that should not be misunderstood because the PLO never considered Israel as a legitimate state.
Mohammad Zahzeh also adds that “Israel is an illegitimate state. Palestine belongs to Palestinians. An independent state of Palestine is what the Palestinians will get recognized.

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International Palestine Solidarity Co...
Karachi, Pakistan
By Syed Yasir Iqbal Kazmi
23 Jul 2013

Muslims attending Palestine Solidarity Conference in Karachi.

International conference on “Palestine: Manifestation of Muslim Ummah’s Unity” was held under the aegis of Palestine Foundation of Pakistan at Radio Pakistan auditorium, July 23, 2013, Photo by Yasir Kazmi, Karachi, Pakistan.

Speakers at an international conference on Palestine said that Israel is an illegitimate state that must cease to exist and an independent sovereign state of Palestine must be established.
Mohammad Zazeh, a leader of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), speaking at the conference said that the post-Gulf War II situation compelled them to reach Oslo Accord but that should not be misunderstood because the PLO never considered Israel as a legitimate state.
Mohammad Zahzeh also adds that “Israel is an illegitimate state. Palestine belongs to Palestinians. An independent state of Palestine is what the Palestinians will get recognized.

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International Palestine Solidarity Co...
Karachi, Pakistan
By Syed Yasir Iqbal Kazmi
23 Jul 2013

Allama Sadiq Raza Taqvi, Muzaffar Hashmi, Dr Meraj ul Huda Siddiqui, Mehfoozyar Khan, Allama Qazi Ahmed Noorani and Mohammad Zazeh sitting on stage during the Palestine Solidarity Conference.

International conference on “Palestine: Manifestation of Muslim Ummah’s Unity” was held under the aegis of Palestine Foundation of Pakistan at Radio Pakistan auditorium, July 23, 2013, Photo by Yasir Kazmi, Karachi, Pakistan.

Speakers at an international conference on Palestine said that Israel is an illegitimate state that must cease to exist and an independent sovereign state of Palestine must be established.
Mohammad Zazeh, a leader of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), speaking at the conference said that the post-Gulf War II situation compelled them to reach Oslo Accord but that should not be misunderstood because the PLO never considered Israel as a legitimate state.
Mohammad Zahzeh also adds that “Israel is an illegitimate state. Palestine belongs to Palestinians. An independent state of Palestine is what the Palestinians will get recognized.

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International Palestine Solidarity Co...
Karachi, Pakistan
By Syed Yasir Iqbal Kazmi
23 Jul 2013

Dr Meraj ul Huda of jamat e Islami addressing the Palestine Solidarity Conference in Karachi.

International conference on “Palestine: Manifestation of Muslim Ummah’s Unity” was held under the aegis of Palestine Foundation of Pakistan at Radio Pakistan auditorium, July 23, 2013, Photo by Yasir Kazmi, Karachi, Pakistan.

Speakers at an international conference on Palestine said that Israel is an illegitimate state that must cease to exist and an independent sovereign state of Palestine must be established.
Mohammad Zazeh, a leader of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), speaking at the conference said that the post-Gulf War II situation compelled them to reach Oslo Accord but that should not be misunderstood because the PLO never considered Israel as a legitimate state.
Mohammad Zahzeh also adds that “Israel is an illegitimate state. Palestine belongs to Palestinians. An independent state of Palestine is what the Palestinians will get recognized.

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International Palestine Solidarity Co...
Karachi, Pakistan
By Syed Yasir Iqbal Kazmi
23 Jul 2013

Allama Sadiq Raza Taqvi of MWM addressing Palestine Solidarity Conference in Karachi.

International conference on “Palestine: Manifestation of Muslim Ummah’s Unity” was held under the aegis of Palestine Foundation of Pakistan at Radio Pakistan auditorium, July 23, 2013, Photo by Yasir Kazmi, Karachi, Pakistan.

Speakers at an international conference on Palestine said that Israel is an illegitimate state that must cease to exist and an independent sovereign state of Palestine must be established.
Mohammad Zazeh, a leader of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), speaking at the conference said that the post-Gulf War II situation compelled them to reach Oslo Accord but that should not be misunderstood because the PLO never considered Israel as a legitimate state.
Mohammad Zahzeh also adds that “Israel is an illegitimate state. Palestine belongs to Palestinians. An independent state of Palestine is what the Palestinians will get recognized.

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International Palestine Solidarity Co...
Karachi, Pakistan
By Syed Yasir Iqbal Kazmi
23 Jul 2013

Mohammad Zazeh, a leader of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), speaking at the conference.

International conference on “Palestine: Manifestation of Muslim Ummah’s Unity” was held under the aegis of Palestine Foundation of Pakistan at Radio Pakistan auditorium, July 23, 2013, Photo by Yasir Kazmi, Karachi, Pakistan.

Speakers at an international conference on Palestine said that Israel is an illegitimate state that must cease to exist and an independent sovereign state of Palestine must be established.
Mohammad Zazeh, a leader of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), speaking at the conference said that the post-Gulf War II situation compelled them to reach Oslo Accord but that should not be misunderstood because the PLO never considered Israel as a legitimate state.
Mohammad Zahzeh also adds that “Israel is an illegitimate state. Palestine belongs to Palestinians. An independent state of Palestine is what the Palestinians will get recognized.

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International Palestine Solidarity Co...
Karachi, Pakistan
By Syed Yasir Iqbal Kazmi
23 Jul 2013

Mohammad Zazeh, a leader of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), speaking at the conference.

International conference on “Palestine: Manifestation of Muslim Ummah’s Unity” was held under the aegis of Palestine Foundation of Pakistan at Radio Pakistan auditorium, July 23, 2013, Photo by Yasir Kazmi, Karachi, Pakistan.

Speakers at an international conference on Palestine said that Israel is an illegitimate state that must cease to exist and an independent sovereign state of Palestine must be established.
Mohammad Zazeh, a leader of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), speaking at the conference said that the post-Gulf War II situation compelled them to reach Oslo Accord but that should not be misunderstood because the PLO never considered Israel as a legitimate state.
Mohammad Zahzeh also adds that “Israel is an illegitimate state. Palestine belongs to Palestinians. An independent state of Palestine is what the Palestinians will get recognized.

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The Human Cost of India's School-Lunc...
Bihar, India
By Serene Yordi
19 Jul 2013

On the morning of July 17, school lunch was served at a primary school in Bihar's Dharmasti Gandaman village. However, the food served that day was laced with agricultural insecticides. In the following days, 23 children died. Many others were hospitalized from the poisoning.

The mid day meal program was introduced in 1925 for the underprivileged children in Madras ( now Chennai) and by 1998, the program was introduced all over India. More than 100 million children are covered in the India’s mid-day meal program and is by the far the largest mid-day meal programs in the world. Now, this tragic event has shined a light on issues with food safety and hygiene in food preparation in the country.

The photojournalist captured the human cost of this tragedy, mothers and fathers, and a devastated village. Ramananda Rai, a 35-year-old father who lost his five-year-old daughter Kajol, had enrolled all three of his children in the same school. The other two survived, as they didn’t go to school that day to assist him working in the fields. Now he does not want to send them back. Many of the inhabitants say they will never be the same.

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India Mid-Day Meal Tragedy (2 of 13)
Bihar, India
By Rajneesh Bhandari
19 Jul 2013

The classroom where the kids ate their midday meal for the last time. Some books, bags and plates were found scattered on July 19, 2013.

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India Mid-Day Meal Tragedy (3 of 13)
Bihar, India
By Rajneesh Bhandari
19 Jul 2013

A man walks across the graveyard of the kids that was made in-front of the primary school to protest on July 19, 2013.

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India Mid-Day Meal Tragedy (5 of 13)
Bihar, India
By Rajneesh Bhandari
19 Jul 2013

Children take rest under the tree just near the graveyard.

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India Mid-Day Meal Tragedy (6 of 13)
Bihar, India
By Rajneesh Bhandari
19 Jul 2013

A villager throws some powder on the soil so that stray dogs will not reach the graveyard.

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India Mid-Day Meal Tragedy (7 of 13)
Bihar, India
By Rajneesh Bhandari
19 Jul 2013

Rekha Kumari, 12, who didn't go the school on that day because she went to the field for work. Her 5-year-old sister Kajal Kumari died.

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India Mid-Day Meal Tragedy (8 of 13)
Bihar, India
By Rajneesh Bhandari
19 Jul 2013

Shabitri devi, 30, lost her 5-year-old daughter Kajal in India’s worst mid-day meal tragedy. She says she wants justice.

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India Mid-Day Meal Tragedy (9 of 13)
Bihar, India
By Rajneesh Bhandari
19 Jul 2013

Muna Kumar, 10, brother of who also didn’t go to school playing with water on July 19, 2013. He lost his 5-year-old sister Kajal Kumari.