The cases of child sexual abuse/rape must be settled in a speedy trial tribunal

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Dhaka, 14 October, 2019. Rights based CSOs demanded settlement of cases of child abuse and rape in special speedy trial. They made this demand from a press conference held in Dhaka today on the eve of the International Rural Women’s Day. Tomorrow is the International Rural Women’s Day. To observe the day, the National Committee on the Observation of the International Rural Women Day organized this press conference today in the national press club. According to the organizers, child sexual abuse /rape is increasing at an alarming rate. In the first six months of this year, reports of sexual abuse and rape of children are similar to the incidents of the past year. In most cases, children have been abused by relatives, close relatives or neighbors. Speakers suggested that cases of child sexual abuse / rape should be tried in a speedy trial tribunal, otherwise it would not be possible to reduce the crime.

The press conference was moderated the Ferdous Ara Rumee, secretariat coordinator of the National Committee while Tamanna Rahman, member of the committee, presented the keynote. Chairperson of the National Committee, Shamima Akhter presided over the press conference while Prof. Momtaz Begum Advocate, Chairman of the National Women’s Organization (Jatiyo Mahila Sanstha) was present as the Chief Guest. Mahbub Alam Firoz, member of the National Committee, Syada Shamima Sultana, Secretary of the Dhaka District committee, Badrul Alam, president of Bangladesh Krishak Federation and Mustafa Kamal Akanda, Coordinator, EquityBD also spoke at the press conference.

On behalf of the Organizers, Ferdous Ara Rumee informed that, International Rural Women’s Day is being celebrated in more than 50 districts of the country. Like every year, the day is being celebrated across the country through various programs including rallies, seminars, human bonds, organizing fairs and honoring rural women for their contribution in various fields. They also said that since 2000 in Bangladesh, various voluntary and development organizations (NGOs) have been celebrating Rural Women’s Day with their own financing. It should be noted that EquityBD serves as the secretariat of the National Committee for International Rural Women’s Day Celebration.

Tamanna Rahman said, in the last six months, 572 children have been raped and sexually assaulted across the country. Twenty-three children, including a boy child, were killed after the rape. A total of 3 children were sexually assaulted. The numbers were calculated based on news reports from various media. Research shows that about 75 percent of children are sexually harassed by family, friends or relatives. Most cases of child sexual abuse occur at home, to relatives or family friends, to school or to school, and to familiar surroundings. Generally, children of lower households are more likely to be victims of sexual abuse. There is no family protection or no idea of security. Apart from these, children are soft, non-violent and can be silenced even without fear; parents are more concerned about keeping children in respect of family honor.

Syeda Shamima Sultana said, a child should be informed about three important places in his body, such as the lips, the genitals and the anus. No one can touch here, if anyone wants to touch, they should shout – let them know about these.

Mostafa Kamal Akand said, the rape cases should be settled in a speedy trial. If the victim or his family goes to the police station, they should accept the case without delay and should also arrest the accused quickly.

Prof. Momtaz Begum Advocate said, children voices should be listened to by making a friendly relationship with the children. We need to create a normal environment for him with ensuring necessary security and protection. She also said, Jatiyo Mahila Sanstha is working in all the 64 districts of Bangladesh and we will work together with this National Committee on the Observation of the International Rural Women Day to promote women and children rights.

Shamima Akhter said, according to psychiatric doctors, children who have been tortured have suffered various types of physical and mental problems later in life. Some, in turn, also become sexual oppressors. Because these children are in trauma, they need special services.
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