Over 1000 children killed in four years

We must do much more to protect children

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A report by Child Rights Advocacy Coalition, a platform of 10 NGOs has revealed some chilling data – around 1,095 children were killed over the last four years. This is a horrific scenario especially since these children did not die of natural causes. The causes of these untimely deaths include murder after abduction, murder after rape and suicide. Almost a thousand children were raped in this timeframe.

Such frightening statistics begs the question: What kind of society have we become?

The number of news reports on minors being kidnapped and then killed, murdered to settle scores by grownups, tortured to death because of some trivial reason, sexually abused and then their lives snuffed out, exposes a disturbing rise of violence in society, especially against children. This is despite the various international conventions and laws we have signed to protect the rights of children and ensure their physical safety.

Child rights activists have recommended a speedy trial process for child victims of rape and torture, something that could act as deterrents to potential perpetrators. The harsh reality is that many of these young victims are from poor families and are forced to work in conditions where they have no protection whatsoever. They are at the mercy of their employers. Laws therefore have to be enforced against children being employed for hazardous work. Employers must be held accountable for the health and wellbeing of children they employ.

Children’s mental health is another issue that is grossly neglected in our society eventhough it is a crucial part of child development. Research and awareness campaigns have to be initiated by both private and public initiatives. Stalking, bullying in school, unnecessary pressure to perform well are some of the reasons why children resort to suicide. As a society we must sensitize ourselves to the emotional needs of children whether as parents, teachers, employers or policymakers.

Source: The Daily Star

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