In Bangladesh a large number of children are deprived of their basic human rights due to unacceptable health, nutrition and education as well as social conditions. In addition, children are exposed to severe forms of physical and mental violence at home, in the work place, in institutions and other public places. The nature and extent of violence against children irrespective of age, sex and class has been increasing day by day. On the whole, our children are not safe despite efforts made by government and non-government organisations in ensuring the rights of the children.
In order to discuss the situation of children in jail in Bangladesh, it is first necessary to understand the position of children in society and the violence many faces, both within the home and outside. A lot of this violence and abuse ultimately causes them to end up in prisons or correction homes. A lot of violence also occurs within these institutions as well.
The report describes various types of acts of violence against children in 2001, Reasons for violence against children , steps taken by the government to ensure the safety of children and some initiatives taken by NGOs.
Children are probably the most neglected members of society and hardly have any voice, even within the home. As a result, they are consistently becoming easy victims of all sorts of violence. Though there is the Children Act 1974 purported to dealing with juvenile justice, even that, too is inadequate. Furthermore, the legal system, especially the criminal justice system – and more specifically the law enforcement agency – are indifferent to such laws and more often than not treat children just as they would treat adult criminals. Violence against children must stop and the judiciary, law enforcing agents and the parents and guardians of children themselves, must be sensitised to the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the laws protecting children in Bangladesh. Furthermore, children need to be protected from vested interest groups and acts of impunity towards children by those purporting to protect society must be dealt with seriously and in accordance with the law.
publication-violence against children-2001-eng (full text in English, PDF)