Child rape increased 76.01pc in Bangladesh last year: BSAF
Publish- January 09, 2020, 12:04 PM
Update- January 09, 2020, 12:20 PM
Bangladesh saw a spike in incidents of child rape and sexual assault on children last year compared to 2018, a child rights advocacy group said.
At least 1,005 incidents of child rape were recorded last year, a 76.01 percent increase compared to the year before, Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum (BSAF) said in its yearly report ‘State of Child Rights in Bangladesh’.
On average, about 84 children became victims of rape in every month of 2019.
BSAF said the number of incidents was higher compared to previous years. Of the victims, 133 were aged between one and six years. Most of the rapes were reported in Dhaka district.
The data were collected from 15 national dailies between January and December.
According to BSAF, 75 of the victims were raped by their teachers and 141 by their neighbours.
Overall, 1,383 incidents of sexual assault were recorded last year – a 70.32 percent rise compared to the previous year.
“The increasing number of incidents is very worrying,” said Bithika Hasan, gender expert of UNDP Bangladesh’s Human Rights Programme.
She said such incidents can even put a question mark on the country’s development and achievements.
Between 2015 and 2019, a total of 3,136 children fell victims to rape – 52 incidents every month on average. But verdicts in only 164 cases were delivered – 27 of them last year.
BSAF Director Abdus Shahid Mahmood said the government should ensure maximum penalty for rape. He recommended trying incidents of child murder, rape and kidnap in Speedy Trial Tribunals and finishing the trial process within a specific time.
Meanwhile, the BSAF report showed that child murder increased by 7.18 percent last year. At least 37 children were murdered on average every month. Most of the incidents were results of trifling matters, violence in family, conjugal feud, dowry, extramarital affairs, enmity and revenge.
Thirty-six of the victims were killed by their parents while 47 were murdered after rape.
Last year recorded the highest number of child murder (448) in five years. The court delivered verdicts in 24 child murder cases in 2019.
“Only reducing the number of incidents of violence against children won’t do. We have to bring them down to zero,” National Human Rights Commission Chairperson Nasima Begum said speaking at the report unveiling programme at the Dhaka Reporters Unity on Wednesday.