“The culture of impunity is encouraging the growing cases of abuse and murder of children in Bangladesh”, said the popular rights activist Sultana Kamal a press conference organized by the ‘Child Rights Advocacy Coalition in Bangladesh’ at the National Press Club in Dhaka.
“Why can’t we think that the individuals have an obligation to prevent such crimes… we’ll have to change this culture of silence. Social resistance is a force. We must evoke a desire to resist … Why do five people remain silent when three beat a child?” asked Kamal, stressing that the murders of Samiul Alam Rajan, 13, in Sylhet and Rakib Hawladar, 12, in Khulna were not ‘isolated’ incidents, but signs of social decadence.
In an appeal to the political scene and government, the activist also emphasized that those involved in such cruelty are not being held to account and often, with complicity of state officials, allowed to flee the country.
According to Abdus Shahid Mahmood, director of Bangladesh Shishu Forum Adhikar (BSFA), 191 children were killed and 280 raped in the January-July period. “Just in July, 37 children were murdered and 50 raped. This scenario is extremely disturbing. It will deteriorate if the government doesn’t take step to prevent them”, Mahmood warned.