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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

How our children suffer

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As many as 28 children are murdered and 49 raped in Bangladesh every month, according to a report by Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum (BSAF), a network of non-government organizations. It observed that such incidents resulted from legal tangles delaying justice and a culture of impunity that encourages perpetrators to commit crimes.

In their annual report, "State of child rights in Bangladesh - 2017," the forum noted that 339 children were killed and 593 raped in 2017, up by 28 per cent and 33 per cent respectively from the previous year. The report had been prepared after analyzing news articles published in 10 national dailies in the last year. The report also showed that child abuse and child rights violation rose by 7% in 2017 compared to the previous year.

The government increased budget allocation for 13 ministries that deal with children's issues for the current fiscal year but this can only help improve the situation if the money is well spent. Children, who make up more than 45% of the country's population, will be the future leaders of the nation and the government should put more emphasis on addressing issues that stifle their physical and mental development.

 Rape and killing of children has risen 28% and 33% respectively over 2016. Moreover, the passing of the Child Marriage Restraint Act 2017, where there is a provision allowing marriage of juvenile children under "special circumstances", has created much controversy. That provision has allegedly increased violence against children.

The National Human Rights Commission chairman has stated correctly that we have not yet become successful to create proper laws that will execute the Children Act 2013 successfully. If that can be done, it will see results. A country can't be called civilized if the innocent children, who don't understand sexuality or violence, experience sexual abuse and torture.

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