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Home Op-Ed

Take proper steps to stop child abuse

Published : Sunday, 13 October, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Count : 172
Md Zillur Rahaman

Child abuse in Bangladesh is a silent crime. Children's sexual abuse is increasing day by day, and it is pervasive all the level of the Bangladeshi society.

Child abuse can occur inside the family, by a guardian, step-parent, siblings or other relative or outside the home, for example, by a friend, neighbour, child care person, instructor, or stranger and the workplace. Physically challenged children are more vulnerable. When sexual abuse happens, a child can create a variety of upsetting emotions, thoughts and behaviours. No child is mentally readied to adapt to rehashed sexual stimulation.

Child abuse or maltreatment constitutes all forms of physical and emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or commercial or other exploitation, resulting in actual or potential harm to the child's health, survival, development or dignity in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or power.

Basically children's sexual harassment or abuse is generally familiar with us as child molestation. It is a very common malpractice in our society. A very few of these occurrences come to light by chance. It is such a form of abuse in our society which an adult or older adolescent uses a child for sexual stimulation. This abuse can be happened in the forms of engaging in sexual activities with a child, indecent exposure, child grooming, child sexual exploitation or using a child to produce child pornography.

Such harassment or abuse can be occurred in a variety of places like home, school, in the public transport, public functions, work stations or elsewhere. Some evil men are always ready for the chance that how to exploit children. Sometimes, they have seemed to be very civil but their activity has to prove themselves the worst scoundrel. Sometimes, we have rare to disclose it but most of the cases, we don't publish it for social difficulties or feel pressure from the musclemen of the society.

There are several reasons of child abuse. Poverty is one of the principle reasons. In many cases, they are sold out by agent. Sex separation is a crucial reason. We have made partition male from female child, and then some individuals do wrong carry on with them. Our social order does not demonstrate a positive carry on for female child. They are truly disregarded in our social order.

The greater part of the individuals in Bangladesh is not cognizant about family arranging. Thus, they have a huge number of children and they cannot take care of them properly. Hence, their child may get abused. Something else is that most individuals are not conscious about children. They don't give a fitting rule to grow up children. In this reason, children have no idea what would it be advisable for them to do. They are not mindful about inner and outside dangers of child.
The large part of the individuals in Bangladesh is uneducated.

They don't have a clue the impacts of unanticipated marriage abused share additionally. It is truly stunning news since in the provincial zone, it is expanding step by step. Sometimes, they have no idea family way so they are rationally tortured by her spouse too as the part of that crew.

Child marriage is one of the main forms of childhood sexual abuse. UNICEF has stated that child marriage "represents perhaps the most prevalent form of sexual abuse and exploitation of girls". The effects of childhood sexual abuse can include depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, complex post-traumatic stress disorder, propensity to further victimization in adulthood, and physical injury to the child, among other problems.

Sexual abuse by a family member is a form of incest and can result in more serious and long-term psychological trauma, especially in the case of parental incest. The global study says that prevalence of child sexual abuse has been estimated at 19.7 per cent for females and 7.9 per cent for males.

Most sexual abuse offenders are acquainted with their victims; approximately 30 per cent are relatives of the child, most often brothers, fathers, uncles, or cousins; around 60 per cent are other acquaintances, such as "friends" of the family, babysitters, or neighbours; strangers are the offenders in approximately 10 per cent of child sexual abuse cases. Most child sexual abuse is committed by men; studies on female child molesters show that women commit 14 per cent to 40 per cent of offenses reported against boys and 6 per cent of offenses reported against girls.

Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum (BSAF), a child right organisation found in a study that the incidents of child rape witnessed an alarming rise in the first seven months of 2019 compared to the corresponding period of last year. But the incidents of murder and suicide of children marked a slight decrease from January to July 2019 compared to the same period of 2018. The report also mentioned that at least 613 children were reportedly raped during the period between January and July this year while it was 411 in the same time last year.

The data also showed that at least 240 children were killed and 109 committed suicide in the first seven months of 2019 while 250 children were killed and 201 committed suicide in the same period of last year. The number of total rape and murder incidents was 85 and 201 respectively in 2012 while 150 and 180 in 2013, 199 and 366 in 2014, 521 and 292 in 2015, 446 and 265 in 2016 and 593 and 399 in 2017.

Children sexual abuse is outlawed nearly everywhere in the world, generally with severe criminal penalties, including in some jurisdictions, life imprisonment or capital punishment. An adult's sexual intercourse with someone below the legal age of consent is defined as statutory rape, based on the principle that a child is not capable of consent and that any apparent consent by a child is not considered to be legal consent.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is an international treaty that legally obliges states to protect children's rights. Articles 34 and 35 of the CRC require states to protect children from all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse.

This includes outlawing the coercion of a child to perform sexual activity, the prostitution of children, and the exploitation of children in creating pornography. States are also required to prevent the abduction, sale, or trafficking of children. As of November 2008, 193 countries are bound by the CRC, including every member of the United Nations except the United States and South Sudan.

The Council of Europe has adopted the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse in order to prohibit child sexual abuse that occurs within home or family. In the European Union, child sexual abuse is subject to a directive. This directive deals with several forms of sexual abuse of children, especially commercial sexual exploitation of children.

There is an absence of complete and correct facts on the real frequency confirmation to infer that this is a far reaching issue. The rate of commercial sexual exploitation of children in Bangladesh is joined with the issues of child work and trafficking.

The Bangladesh Constitution guarantees protection from forced labor while national laws criminalize the buying and selling of children for the purpose of prostitution. Then again, noteworthy crevices in the national enactment stay, with prostitution the main unequivocally distinguished type of sexual abuse. In this respect, laws are obliged to address the expanding issue of child obscenity. Also, it is worried that while national enactment does not criminalize female prostitution, casualties of such types of commercial sexual abuse are off and on again charged and subjected to detainment.

Article 20 of the Constitution refers to work as a right and a duty and a matter of honour of citizen who is capable of working. Article 28 of the Constitution empowers the State to make special provisions for the benefit of children.

The Government of Bangladesh through the Ministry of Labour and Employment has reviewed all fragmented laws related to child labour with a view to fixing a uniform age for admission to work and to prohibit their engagement in hazardous occupations. According to the Labour Act (2006) the minimum age for admission to work is 14 years and 18 years for hazardous work. Further, light work for children between the ages of 12 - 14 years is defined as non-hazardous work that does not impede education.

Bangladesh government has an obligation to guarantee that they don't allow, or permit child labour or exploitation to exist inside their state. Moreover, they have an obligation to guarantee that state organisations, corporate figures and additionally their suppliers and exchanging accomplices worldwide, are completely agreeable with the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other global understandings securing the privileges of the child.

Bangladesh government should apply the laws and regulations against child abuse, trafficking and exploitation to raise conscious and awareness to the mass people. Children should provide with basic knowledge about these crimes and for this they need to get primary education in school. UNICEF are providing different campaign to send the message about this crimes. But this initiatives should be combined with the efforts of Bangladesh government.

Besides, we can follow the strategy of developed countries and implement this in our country. Different NGO's in Bangladesh are already working on it but it is not working well on Bangladesh. They are not really focusing on raising awareness on this certain issue. Most importantly, parents need to play the vital role. Children need to get the primary idea and consciousness about these abusive behaviours and avoid this kind of scenarios.

The government has enacted several laws to protect children, but that is not sufficient to tackle the children abuse. However, speedy tribunal has been formed but these have not been properly implemented. That is why incidents of sexual violence against children are on the rise in an alarming rate. Social awareness, proper implementation of law and guardians vigilance can save children from sexual abuse in the society.

The writer is banker and freelance contributor

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