THAT 3,845 children became victims of oppression and violence and — 1,710 of them were victims of different types of unnatural death while 890 faced sexual violence — 28 children were killed and 49 fell victim to rape, on an average, a month all taking place in 2017, as a Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum report says, provides a pointer to both the sorry state of child rights and the sustained downslide in law and order. Violence against children, especially child killing and rape, as New Age reported on Tuesday, increased alarmingly in the past year. In 2016, 3,589 children were victims of violence and of them, 1,441 were victims of different types of unnatural death. In fact, violence against children, regardless of their age, sex and class, is nothing new. The reasons those murders occurred were family enmity, personal feuds, land disputes and the failure to pay ransom which indicate that some social values about keeping children off family disputes have significantly waned. Involving children in family disputes leaves a negative impact on them. In such a situation, while they increasingly start harbouring mistrust in the adult, they also engage in violent activities, especially to show their might to peers.
Regrettably, the staggering number of child victims tends to suggest that law enforcement agencies, which have miserably failed to ensure safety and security to public life and property, in general, have also done so when it comes to children. One can, of course, attribute the negligence of law enforcers about their stipulated duty to the denial of key government functionaries of the ground realities of law and order. The criminals also take the advantage of non-enforcement of the relevant laws by law enforcers who have a predilection for lackadaisical approach, especially when it comes to dealing with cases filed by people not belonging to the powerful or influential quarters. As such, children have for long been exposed to various forms of torture, physical and mental, almost everywhere — at home, educational institutions or at work.
Under the circumstances, the top brass of the home ministry need to come down to earth and make law enforcers serious about rendering their duty. If the government can make the police force accountable, public cooperation, we hope, will not be wanting in stemming further deterioration of the situation. How the police handle the situation and most importantly how the government directs the law enforcement agencies in this regard will have a great bearing on the scene of child abuse. At the same time, the conscious section of society needs to come forward with its sustained voice over the issue. It is all the more important as only mounting pressure on the government about the issue can make a difference.
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