Developing a Global South Perspective of Street Children’s Involvement in Organized Crime

  • Sally Atkinson-Sheppard


The majority of studies about gangs come from the global North meaning that we know very little about young people’s involvement in organized crime in the global South. This chapter explores the roles that Bangladeshi street children play in organized crime groups by drawing on interviews with street children, criminal justice practitioners, non-government organization workers and community members and over three years of participant observation of Bangladesh and its criminal justice system. This chapter argues that in order to understand street children’s involvement in Bangladesh’s organized crime groups—the mastaans—it is necessary to expand the boundaries of criminology to include development studies’ concepts of social protection, patron-clientism and child labor. The chapter highlights the need to build a more cohesive collaboration between criminology and development studies.


Street children Organized crime Gangs Bangladesh Global South Southern criminology 


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Sally Atkinson-Sheppard
    • 1
  1. 1.Independent ScholarLondonUK

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