Violence against children continues

It is time to build a strong social movement to stop it

There is no denying that Bangladesh has made significant strides in the fields of health, nutrition, safe water and sanitation, education and child protection. But when it comes to violence against children, it offers a somewhat gloomy picture. Even a cursory scan of the daily newspapers tells the story that progress in this field remains disturbingly limited. 

Reportedly, in Bangladesh nearly two billion children are subjected to different forms of violence every year. In the past five years, a total of 1,122 children were murdered in the country. There also occurred over four thousand unnatural deaths to children since 2015 till date. 

In every sphere of life, we often hear that “children are the torch-bearers of our future”. But are we being able to save these innocent lives from predators? When we think about the mischief being done in our society, violence against children appears as an ugly aspect that must be done away with.

We must adopt a zero-tolerance 

policy for violence against children

A growing number of heinous crimes not only reveal our sheer negligence to address a savage practice but also indicate our failure to protect our children from the evils of our society.

When the implementation of law is inadequate, perpetrators remain unaffected, especially when the authorities concerned respond in a way that does not protect the underprivileged victims. Stricter laws and more vigorous enforcement might help, but they are not enough. It is time for the government to adopt tough legal measures to prosecute child abusers so that we are able to protect our future generations. Also we must adopt a zero-tolerance policy for violence against children.

This is only part of the solution - we also need to address social norms and practices, raising awareness on the detrimental physical and psychological effects of violence against children. In Bangladesh, for example, a survey found that over 50 percent of parents support corporal punishment. As long as we do not achieve a mind-set change by the caregivers, even the best laws and policies will not be sufficient to protect children.