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A Contemporary Hell: Life Inside a Ba...
Faridpur, Bangladesh
By Miguel Candela
07 Mar 2015

Prostitution in Bangladesh has been legal since the year 2000. However, as Bangladesh is a conservative Muslim country, prostitution carries negative social stigmas. Despite this, severe poverty and economic stagnation have forced women previously employed in other sectors to become prostitutes. Furthermore, many sex workers are underage and child prostitution is rife. Female sex workers are often abused and and always underpaid, earning as little as $0.50 per customer.

However, there is growing awareness among sex workers and they have started to organize themselves in unions. One organization of sex workers is called the “Prostitute Association of Faridfur,” founded in Faridpur district, near the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka. These associations were formed to establish a “union” among sex workers and protect them from abuse. Despite the face of a unified force in having associations to represent these sex workers, radical Islamic conservatives have openly condemned these women. In 2010, these radicals burned a brothel to the ground. That incident injured two women and left all of the other tenants homeless. 

These photos offer intimate portraits of women who's daily lives consist of abuse and exploitation as they struggle to survive on the fringes of one of the poortest societies on earth. 

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Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
09 Sep 2014

Jogodish Borua, 65, lost his land and his house to river erosion.

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Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
09 Sep 2014

Abdul Aziz, who lost his home to erosion along the banks of the river, takes a bath in the Padma.

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Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
09 Sep 2014

A fisherman and a local villager cross paths on the banks of the river Padma.

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Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
09 Sep 2014

The situation is especially severe for children. A woman and child have been displaced along with other members of their neighborhood who also lost their homes.

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Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
09 Sep 2014

A man walks through the ruins of a house damaged by river erosion.

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Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
09 Sep 2014

A boy plays on the banks of the river Padma in a spot where there once sat family homes.

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Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
24 Aug 2014

People who lost their homes set up makeshift shelters along the river.

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Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
24 Aug 2014

Rising water levels on the river Padma in Bangladesh threaten homes and put inhabitants of the river basin at risk.

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Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
24 Aug 2014

When the Padma river rises, erosion becomes a serious problem for the community living on the river. At the same time, waste littering the earth pollutes the water.

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Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
24 Aug 2014

Houses sit near the banks of the river Padma in Bangladesh.

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Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
24 Aug 2014

Flooding and erosion along the Padma river in Bangladesh has resulted in many people losing their homes and their land.

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Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
24 Aug 2014

People are sometimes forces to move their houses to another place out of the path of river erosion.

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Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
24 Aug 2014

A family made homeless by erosion and flooding along the Padma River dry cloth on the riverbank.

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Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
28 Jun 2014

Rohim Shekh, 72, walks through an area devastated by Cyclone Aila in 2007. He was displaced by the Cyclone, which many now see as a result of climate change.

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Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
28 Jun 2014

This community was devastated by cyclones Aila in 2007 and Sidr in 2009. People here still face hardships from these catastrophic events, some of them traveling miles for fresh water.

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Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
28 Jun 2014

This community was devastated by cyclones Aila in 2007 and Sidr in 2009. People here still face hardships from these catastrophic events, some of them traveling miles for fresh water.