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Nation must protect its girl children from various evils

01 October 2022

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) target ending abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against children by 2030. The status of Bangladesh is worse. A study revealed that a total of 574 girl children were subjected to rape in the first eight months of this year, of whom, 84 were victims of gang rape. Twenty of the children were killed after rape. Impunity, political and financial support, moral degradation along with alien cultural intrusion as well as fluid social fabrication are responsible for increasing trend of violence against women.
The Girl Children Situation Monitoring Report 2022 stated that 76 girls were subjected to sexual harassment and torture from January to August 2021, of whom, one was a child with disabilities and 15 were subjected to pornography. Most of the occurrences took place in public places, including markets, streets, public transport, educational and religious institutions and in the confines of their own home, by family members, relatives, teachers and stalkers.  
A total of 186 girls were also killed in this period, followed by rape, sexual harassment and family feud, while another 181 girls died by suicide, compared to the 153 cases in 2021. According to the report, a total of 1,669 girls from 25 districts became the victims of child marriage in the first eight months, while 589 incidents of child marriage were stopped with the help of local administration.
It is revealed that even one-year-old infants have also been victims of rape. Although some perpetrators were arrested following the GDs and cases filed after many such incidents, most of them were released on bail later. The report did not find any information on final punitive actions taken against the perpetrators in any such case, though a High Court directive suggests the disposal of rape or murder cases within 180 days of filing them with Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunals. The court should think about effectiveness and efficiency and loopholes to ensure execution of laws.

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