DHAKA: It is scientifically proved that every species feels the necessity to protect their offspring. Then why are human beings becoming self-destructive day by day?
They are beating, sexually abusing and sometimes killing children. Maybe, these children are not their own but, this gruesome behavior towards children was not expected from the best creation of God.
However, the incidents of child abuse have increased alarmingly in the country in recent times.
According to the report of BSAF (Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum), as many as 968 children were tortured or beaten to death from 2012 to July, 2015 and 191 children were killed just in 2015 (till July).
The year 2016 is also started with massive amount of cruel incidents against children. According to media reports, around 31 children were killed only in January.
On July 8 in 2015, a 13-year old boy Samiul Islam Rajon was barbarically beaten to death in Sylhet. There were 64 injury marks over his body.
On August 3 in 2015, a 12-year old boy named Rakib Hawlader was tortured by his garage owner, the owner’s mother and another worker of the garage in Khulna division.
The boy’s fault was that he wanted to quit his job from the garage and to work for another employer. They pumped air into his body through his anus.
Though, later he was rescued and taken to Khulna Medical College and Hospital, the boy died as his intestines were torn apart and his lungs burst.
On August 4 of the same year, Sumaiya Akhter died. She was beaten by her parents. Their statement was that they were performing “Exorcism” on her.
Not only these, but also a national level cricketer and his wife’s brutal torture to their 11-year old maid are known to us. Two minor boys, Imran and Shakil, of Dhamrai upazila in Dhaka were killed two days after they were kidnapped on January 27, 2016.
The kidnappers called their families demanding Tk one lakh as ransom.
The abductions of children in broad daylight indicate the country’s poor state of law and order situation and also reveal that children are little safe in their schools and communities.
The murder of two siblings, by their mother in Rampura in Dhaka, exposes a very worrying trend of child abuse in the country and this incident forces us to think that children are not even safe in their homes let alone schools and communities.
Girls are much more at risk. Abusing videos, mms’ can easily be spread through social media which often lead these poor souls to suicide or self harming attempts.
Even these days, girls are being murdered because of refusing marriage proposals. Rapes on bus and microbus occurred in recent times give a shiver down the spine of the people.
Under Article 26 of United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), children have the rights of having their social security from the government of Bangladesh.
It has also enacted Children Act-2013 with the reflection of some provisions of UNCRC. Under this act a zilla and an upozilla child board and child desk should be formed in every zilla and upozilla.
In reality, these acts remain a mere act. As a result, there are countless more incidents of child abuse that were taken place in our country. But what are the reasons behind this animosity? The main reason behind this increase of child abuse is that the punishment of criminals is very rare.
In most of the cases, they are not even arrested. Due to poor economic condition of families, child’s torture is not even exposed. Another reason behind this is that people of our country are highly superstitious till now.
Many children have become victims of the so-called “exorcism”. There is also a lack for effective organizations through which children can describe the incidents of their abuse and get justice.
In some cases, the parents themselves violate their children’s rights and they do not even know that. Because, in our country children are perceived as a brainless bunch of people, to whom the only responsibilities of their parents are to provide them with their basic rights and protect them. But, protecting them at what cost? We have to listen to their opinions too.
We cannot just force everything on them and say that it was for their own betterment. Poverty is also a culprit behind child abuse in our country.
Poor families are often forced to send their children to dangerous and abusive workplaces as they have no other option.
Some of the reasons mentioned above demanding attention from government level.
But, what is the most needed thing about controlling this matter is a change in notion. All of us have to be free of our superstitions and low level thinking and come forward to ascertain the safety of these innocent souls.
The writers – Nishat Tasneem, Nazia Mosharaf Mim, Tasnuva Yasmin and Purna Kumar Koch – are students Department of Development Studies, University of Dhaka
BDST: 1812 HRS, MAY 26, 2016