News Desk : dhakamirror.com
Between January and August this year, at least 493 girls aged 18 or younger were raped in the country, including 39 children with disabilities, according to a National Girl Child Advocacy Forum presentation.
The organisation disclosed the findings of ‘News Analysis on Violence Against Girl Children’ in the capital on Wednesday, marking National Girl Child Day observed annually on September 30.
The findings were prepared based on reports from 70 national and local newspapers and online portals in 14 categories between January and August.
According to the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act 2000, rape cases must be disposed of within 180 days of filing them. The act, however, had not been implemented in reality.
The analysis also revealed that although 649 cases were filed after the incidents of violence but a few perpetrators were arrested and most of them were released on bail later.
The report said that there was no information on the final punitive action taken against the perpetrators.
The report found that 104 girls were victims of kidnapping and trafficking.
According to the report, 136 girls were killed because of domestic violence, family feuds, rape and sexual harassment, while 181 girls committed suicide.
About 329 girl children were victims of sexual harassment and abuse while 30 were subjected to pornography.
According to the data collected from 23 districts, at least 260 girl children became the victims of child marriage, while 21 incidents of child marriage were stopped.
The report also found that six girls faced dowry-related torture, of whom two were killed.
NGCAF president Badiul Alam Majumder said, ‘Women and girls in Bangladesh have come a long way as a result of various initiatives of the government as well as various non-governmental organisations. But they are still subjected to various forms of torture and discrimination.’
‘We believe that prosperity of the nation will not be ensured if proper development and opportunities for the girl children are not ensured,’ he added.
To reduce violence against women and children, the NGCAF recommended completing judicial proceedings quickly, formulating a separate sexual harassment prevention and remedy Act, creating a separate department for children, increasing the social safety budget along with administration and law enforcement agencies’ surveillance to stop child marriage and creating awareness among youths, among others.