• Thursday, Dec 09, 2021
  • Last Update : 12:42 am

Child abuse reaches a horrifying level

  • Published at 12:22 am November 4th, 2017
Child abuse reaches a horrifying level
Child abuse in the country has reached a horrendous level so much so that13,012 children have fallen prey to different forms of brutal torture in the last five years. According to data compiled by Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum (BSAF), in the first eight months of the current year, 222 children were killed, 399 raped, and 58 others gang-raped, while in the last year, 265 children were killed, 446 raped and 68 others gang-raped. The latest among the episodes was reported on Wednesday when four-year old Piyash was brutally tortured by a youth named Rakib in Raipur upazila of Lakshmipur allegedly for stealing a mobile phone. With serious injuries to his eyes and face, Piyash was rushed to Noakhali Sadar Hospital for treatment. Earlier, on September 21, a minor girl was raped by a son of her landlord at Battery Ghat in Kamrangirchar area of Dhaka when she went to ask the landlord to turn on water supply to tenant’s flats. The victim’s family accused Mahbub, the landlord’s son, of violating the girl. In yet another incident on July 30, a four-year girl was murdered and left inside a bathroom after being raped by her perpetrators at Badda. Expressing  grave concerns over the rising incidents of child abuse, activists and experts said child maltreatment would not be stopped unless or until rule of law is ensured in the country. As such incidents are taking place at both upper and lower tiers of society, they emphasised changing adult people’s attitudes towards children and purging the society of unrest and violence. Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune, BSAF Director Abdus Shahid Mahmud said: “There are laws on child issues, but they lack specific provisions for protection of victims and witnesses. This is because witnesses, in most cases, do not feel secure to testify in cases over child abuse. “As a result, it is difficult for [the prosecution and plaintiffs] to prove complaints about child abuse. In addition, victims’ families often lose their interest in the cases due to the lengthy legal process.” Dr Nehal Karim, a professor of sociology at Dhaka University, observed that child abuse or neglect is on the rise due to some people’s tendency for misusing power and breaching law. “As children are physically weak, they do not have the ability to resist their predators and therefore they easily fall victim to torture. The prevailing culture of impunity is also contributing to the rise in the incidents of child abuse,” he said. Executive director of Bangladesh Human Rights Foundation Alina Khan said: “The laws on child issues are not properly implemented. Punitive measures must be ensured in order to cut child abuse incidents.” Lack of awareness among the people about child rights and delayed trial process are responsible for child maltreatment, he said, putting emphasis on awareness building in this regard. Dr Asoke Kumar Saha, a professor of psychology at Jagannath University, said people’s unfulfilled desires, degrading morality, and social unrest are also among the factors that give rise to child repression. In order to check child repression, the experts stressed the need for ensuring speedy trial and exemplary punishment, rapid execution of verdict, and taking measures to ensure safety of victims and plaintiffs. They also suggested the government support victims whose families are unable to proceed with their cases because of poverty.
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