An alarming picture of child abuse has emerged a recent survey of the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) and UNICEF. The survey report indicated that children in the cities were abused more than those in the villages. In the city corporation areas, 85 per cent of the children in the slums were abused. Outside of the slums, this was 42 per cent. Of these, 56 per cent of the children were punished physically for various misdeeds and 72 per cent were mentally tortured.
The government has undertaken various measures to protect children. These include the national child policy, the children’s act, and signing the UN charter for child rights. It is unfortunate that child abuse continues unabated in the country. They are abused in school, at workplaces and even in their own homes. Horrific reports appear in the media of child domestic help being tortured. The children are abused on minor grounds and some even die as a result of the torture.
Many guardians and teachers feel that sparing the rod with spoil the child. This is wrong. Harsh punishment destroys a child’s life. A child can be brought up perfectly well with love and care. Psychologists say that abuse can seriously harm children, destroy their confidence and create a negative mindset. They lose their ability to take decisions and grow violent.
Under the children’s act, there is provision for life sentence for torturing a child. However, this law is hardly implemented. It is high time that the law be implemented and the child abusers be given due punishment. The government must take effective measures to prevent child abuse. The people must be made aware of the laws in this regard. The NGOs also need to be active about this. If everyone is active and aware, child abuse can be reduced significantly.