Development activists and campaigners in Rajshahi raised their voices against risky child labour and sexual harassment against children to groom their latent talents through proper physical and mental development.
They also demanded punitive measures against social crimes and urged all government and nongovernment entities concerned to come forward and work together to protect and nurture children.
They put forward the demand while addressing a human chain and street corner meeting at Shaheb Bazar Zero Point in the city on Tuesday.
Association for Community Development and Ain O Shalish Kendra jointly organised the programme to mark International Child Labour Prevention Day-2018.
ACD’s project titled ‘Sexual Exploitation of Children Online and in Travel and Tourism’ supported the meeting.
Members of the child defenders forum and community watch group were present at the programme.
ACD project coordinators Meraj Uddin Talukder and Ehsanul Amin, project officer Hafij Uddin and programme officer Ali Hossain, among others, addressed the meeting.
The development activists urged people in the community to play a strong role in preventing child labour and online sexual harassment against children.
They said that many children especially from poor and distressed families suffered from various physical and mental problems due to their engagement in risky labour. So, all the authorities concerned should work together to protect the children against various vulnerabilities.
Quoting a survey report on violence and repression against women and children conducted in the city, they revealed that 487 incidents of repression and violence against women and children took place during February, 2017 to March, 2018.
The speakers urged journalists to highlight the new problem of online sexual harassment and repression against children through their in-depth reporting so that policymakers took the issue seriously and found ways to address the problem.
Referring to the study findings, Ali Hossain said that some children were seen facing problems due to the abuse over the internet which was a growing concern for the society.
Time had come to combat the crime collectively and the media had a vital role to play in this regard, he said.
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