Dhaka, Bangladesh
Tortures, accidents kill 1,511 children in 2017: Study

Tortures, accidents kill 1,511 children in 2017: Study

Rape, sexual harassment, accidents and suicides led 1,511 children to death in 2017, according to a study by the Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF), a local nongovernmental organisation, reports bdnews24.com. The number marks a 36.66 percent increase from 957 deaths in such cases in 2016. The report presented at the National Press Club on Monday highlights that more children suffered injuries last year compared to 2016. Reports published by six national dailies were analysed for the report, said Abdullah Al Mamun, coordinator at the Manusher Jonno Foundation. In 2017, road accidents killed 375 children. Other accidents killed 679 children, 21 died from different diseases, while 18 died after being raped and one died in another sexual assault, according to the report. The report has flagged out 196 deaths in suspected murders, 10 deaths after abduction, one death due to child marriage, and seven due to tortures. A total of 203 children committed suicide, the report says. Mamun said 5,000 children suffered injuries in different incidents in 2017 whereas the number was as low as 1,998 in 2016. In 2016, 77 children died in road accidents while 120 in other accidents. A total of 3,838 children died of health related complications, 100 died after enduring sexual assault, 454 died after being raped, 45 died after rapes were attempted on them, 28 died after attempted murders, 62 died after abduction and seven died after attempting suicide. The year saw deaths of 252 children due to tortures. The report claims 592,414 children were harmed in 2017 opposed to only 56,090 in the year before. Education-related complications affected 585,252 children last year, said Mamun pointing out question leaks, inadequate teachers, demolition of school buildings as reasons. Neighbours, stalkers, friends, teachers, and relatives are mostly the perpetrators in the rape cases, according to the MJF report. Many of the children attempted suicide due to drug addiction, the report says. Some chose the option after dropping out of school; some could not afford to sign up for board exams while some attempted suicide following scolding by teachers. The year 2017, however, saw positive changes in implementation of law and in trials. Speakers at the discussion on the report recommended formation of a separate directorate for children. They stressed monitoring child rights situation and mobilising labour units for child workers. They also urged everyone not to misuse the "exceptions in special cases" present in the Bangladesh Child Marriage Restraint Bill. MJF Executive Director Shaheen Anam presided over the session while Dhaka University law Professor Shahnaz Huda was also present among others.

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