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Report: Alarming rise in child rapes in 2019

  • Published at 05:46 pm July 1st, 2019

Between April to June, child rapes went up by 102% from the previous quarter

Concurrent rapes against minors have doubled in the second quarter of 2019, according to the Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum (BSAF) on Monday.

At least 164 children were raped in the first quarter of 2019, but the rapes doubled within three months, ballooning to 332 from April to June at 102%, according to a BSAF press release.

The numbers indicate that at least 496 children were raped in the first six months of the year, with a minimum 82 victims per month. 

The forum collected the data by analysing news articles published within the time frame in 15 national dailies.

"There has been a 41% increase of child and minor rape in Jan-June 2019 in comparison with Jan-June 2018, which is very alarming," said the press release.

In the first six months of 2019, there had been 496 child rapes reported in total, while the number was 351 during the same period last year.

In a stunning observation, 241 children were reportedly raped within only 61 days from April to May, which is half the number of total reported incidents.

Among the 496 reported rapes, 53 were gang raped, 27 were rapes of differently-abled minors, and 23 children were murdered after they were raped.

During that time, a total 2,158 children have been subjected to various types of violence, including murder, rape, and torture.

Among them, 988 children reportedly died of unnatural causes, and 726 children experienced sexual abuse and exploitation.

Moreover, a total of 205 children were killed, 93 children committed suicide, 286 died from road accidents, and 194 children died by drowning. 

At least 120 children were kidnapped, among which 61 were rescued later, adds the report. 

On the other hand, 72 children have reportedly gone missing in 2019, and 24 among them were found murdered. 

At least 27 children have been victims of corporal punishment this year, the release read.

Unreported rapes

In an earlier report from April, the BSAF said the actual number of rapes could be much higher as many such incidents remain unreported, it said.

Impunity, weak charge sheet, delay in the trial proceedings, lack of witness, pressure from powerful people are responsible for the rise of such crimes, it added.

“It is important that such offences become non-bailable,” it said.

Most of all, the society is suffering from moral decay which has made such incidents of violence rampant, BSAF had stated.

The BSAF has recommended lawmakers to question the role of government departments and agencies concerned to help formulate tougher laws for accurate investigation and to ensure justice. It has also advocated speedy trial of cases filed over rape, killing and abduction of children to reduce the criminal acts, and suggested capital punishment as the highest penalty for the convicted in such cases.

Concurring reports

According to a report by Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF), 47 female children were raped, sexually harassed, or assaulted between April 2 and April 16, 2019. The rights group also reported in 2018 that at least 271 children were killed or died after they were raped or subjected to sexual and physical abuse. They also found that 1,006 children were subjected to abuse other than murder last year.

Bangladesh Child Rights Forum reported that between January and March 2019, a total of 211 children had fallen victim to sexual harassment, of whom 164 were raped.

In 2018, a survey conducted by Child Parliament on 513 children in all 64 districts showed 87% of children were victims of sexual abuse.

Another 2018 survey of 364 children age 15 to 18, conducted by Child’s Rights Advocacy Qualification in Bangladesh, found that 48.6% of them became victims of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV).

Girls experienced and reported more SGBV compared to boys. A total of 19.9% girls reported SGBV, in contrast to 7.7% of boys.

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