Bangladesh

The scourge of child sexual abuse

May 26, 2017
A nation cannot call itself civilised with so many child rapes on its conscience Children are the most vulnerable group of people, and we are failing them badly. The latest account is horrifying: Another 12-year-old girl was rescued after having suffered unspeakable sexual abuse at the hands of her employer. It is hard to imagine a more despicable crime — the child was locked up for 17 days and raped repeatedly. What’s worse is that sexual crimes against children are happening with alarming frequency.
 
The incident of Rajon, a young boy who was tied to a tree and tortured, though not sexual in nature, shook the nation and created awareness of child abuse, but not enough. It is time to take a long hard look at endemic child sexual abuse. Incidences of child rape have steadily increased in the country in the past few months. And the official numbers don’t even tell a fraction of the whole story.
 
A nation cannot call itself civilised with so many child rapes on its conscience. The fight begins with making sure not a single perpetrator of child sexual abuse walks free — the law should dish out the harshest possible punishment for these individuals. Secondly, children should be taken out of dangerous situations that make them vulnerable to victimisation, like manual labour or domestic work.
 
Indeed, this would require extensive changes in our country’s institutions, customs, and economic structure, but it is high time we made those changes.
It is the only way to break the cycle of abuse.
 
Dhaka Tribune, May 26, 2017

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