418 children murdered last year

Violence against children and the level of brutality, especially against girls, have increased significantly in recent years, worsening the state of child rights in the country, finds a non-government report.

In 2018, at least 418 children were murdered across the country, which is 23 percent higher than the previous year [around 339 murders in 2017], said the report.

Over 571 children of different ages were raped last year, while 812 were assaulted physically and sexually, it added.

Child Rights Advocacy Coalition in Bangladesh, a platform of 10 non-governmental organisations, prepared the report based on published news.

The findings were unveiled yesterday at a press briefing held at Dhaka Reporters’ Unity.

According to the report, most working children face both physical and verbal abuse at work. Besides, more than 55 percent and 49 percent children face physical punishment at home and educational institution respectively.

The report also found that incidents of children dying by suicide and the number of their deaths in road accidents have increased remarkably.

Reviewing the findings, speakers at the briefing identified dilly-dallying in ensuring justice, absence of a designated government institution for protection of child rights, and lack of public awareness as major reasons behind the worsening situation.

They suggested that the government form a separate department and commission for children, ensure speedy trial through establishing an individual tribunal and enforce ban on physical punishment at educational institutions.

Kazi Reazul Hoque, chairman of National Human Rights Commission, said children face violence almost everywhere. They face physical punishment at school often, although it has been prohibited by the High Court.

“We are yet to have the mindset that we should remain sensitive towards women and children. It has to change,” he said.

Abu Taleb, a joint secretary of Ministry of Women and Children Affairs; Shahnaz Rahman, an adviser of Plan International Bangladesh; and Abdullah Al Mamun, a director of Save the Children, also spoke.

Source: https://www.thedailystar.net/city/news/418-children-murdered-last-year-1723003

Updated On: April 01, 2019

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