The Gangs of Bangladesh: Exploring Organised Crime, Street Gangs and ‘Illicit Child Labourers’ in Dhaka

Atkinson-Sheppard, S. 2016. The Gangs of Bangladesh: Exploring Organised Crime, Street Gangs and ‘Illicit Child Labourers’ in Dhaka. Criminology & Criminal Justice. 16 (2), pp. 233-249. https://doi.org/10.1177/1748895815616445

TitleThe Gangs of Bangladesh: Exploring Organised Crime, Street Gangs and ‘Illicit Child Labourers’ in Dhaka
TypeJournal article
AuthorsAtkinson-Sheppard, S.
Abstract

This article presents a study of street children’s involvement in organized crime in Bangladesh. It is based on an empirical case study conducted in Dhaka and draws on interviews with 22 street children, 80 interviews with criminal justice practitioners, NGO workers and community members and over three years of participant observation of the Bangladeshi criminal justice system and wider society. The article explains how street children work for ‘mastaans’, Bangladeshi organized crime bosses. These children are hired to carry weapons, sell drugs, collect extortion money, commit political violence and conduct contract killings. This article argues that these children areneither victims nor offenders; they are instead ‘illicit labourers’, doing what they can to survive on the streets.

KeywordsBangladesh, child labour, gangs, organised crime, street children
JournalCriminology & Criminal Justice
Journal citation16 (2), pp. 233-249
ISSN1748-8958
Year2016
PublisherSage
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1177/1748895815616445
Publication dates
Published online19 Nov 2015
Published in print01 Apr 2016

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