ABC Four Corners (Australia)
In many remote parts of Afghanistan, local farmers are being forced to give up their own children to drug traffickers closely allied to the Taliban in order to save their own lives.
Najibullah Quraishi exposes this brutal practice and tells the heartbreaking personal stories of some of the families affected.
Najibullah journeys deep into the Afghan countryside to reveal the deadly bargain local farmers are being forced to make in order to save their own lives. This film exposes the dreadful abuse of young Afghan girls by drug traffickers closely allied to the Taliban.
The Afghan government has embarked on a massive eradication programme to destroy poppy fields in the most popular growing areas. But this programme has had a drastic collateral effect on farm families who have borrowed money from traffickers to grow their crops. Once destroyed, they cannot pay these loans back. The only thing of value they now possess is their children and, in particular, their daughters. When the traffickers arrive to demand payment the farmers are told: “give us your daughters or we will kill you”. Girls as young as 6, sold into sex-slavery, to save their fathers.
Opium Brides follows the stories of five families on the run from traffickers. By the end, just two girls remain free. As one girl tells us: “If they take me, I’ll have to kill myself. Death is better than sorrow and sadness.