WASHINGTON – A U.S. government watchdog has filed a secret report to Congress into allegations of child sex abuse by Afghan security forces — and the extent to which America holds them accountable.
According to the office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), which Tuesday announced it had sent the classified findings to lawmakers, Afghan officials are failing to stop sexual exploitation.
Primarily at issue is the entrenched custom of what is known in Afghanistan as “bacha bazi” — the sexual abuse of boys — and whether the U.S. is turning a blind eye.
“Afghan officials remain complicit, especially in the sexual exploitation and recruitment of children by Afghan security forces,” SIGAR said in a quarterly publication that described the outline of the congressional report.
It states that the Afghan government has failed to identify or help victims. In some cases, the Afghan government arrested and prosecuted trafficking victims as criminals.
“Victim-protection …