Dhaka, Aug 17, 2020: The rate of child abuse in the workplace has increased as people are returning to work after the end Corona-induced general holiday. Through a rapid telephone survey, Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF) found that the rate of child abuse in workplace in July has increased by 136 percent compared to June. 692 children were victims of violence during the survey period while the number was only 292 June. As expected, domestic violence reduced with easing of lockdown.
In July, 692 children were abused at their workplaces. In addition, the rate of child abduction also increased. 69 children were abducted. A total of 2969 children reported to have been tortured. Of these, 1989 are girls, which is 66 per cent, and 1,000 are boys, and 34 per cent are boys.
As more children have joined work in various formal and informal sectors they have become vulnerable to abuse. Many more families are sending their children to work due to prolonged unemployment f parents. On the other hand, due to revival of economic activities, owners are interested to hiring child laborers with lower wages. Besides, parents are in favor of increasing family income with children’s help as schools are still shut..
Data for this rapid telephone survey was collected in July from 111 partner organizations of MJF in 53 districts to assess situation of women and children in the gradual easing of lockdown situation. A total of 63, 97 women and children were telephoned. Of these, 44, 75 are women and 19,093 are children. The total number of victims, including women and children, was 11,471 in July. Which was 12,640 in June. The number of women victims in July was 7492, which was 9844 in June. The number of child victims increased to 2969 in July, which was 2696 in June.
The total number of new victims combining both women and children is 3699. Of these, 3293 are women or 39 percent and 708 are children or 20 percent.
Total 8369 women became victim of domestic violence, which is 94.8 percent. In addition, 56 women were sexually harassed, 19 women were raped or victim of attempted rape, 11 women were killed and 17 women were sexually harassed while collecting food and relief.
Although the highest numbers of children are victims of domestic violence, the number of child marriage came down to 174 from 400 plus last month. It could be that authorities are now more vigilant to stop child marriage. NGO’s have also started social mobilization against it.
In the domestic violence category, 4,000 experienced psychological torture. 2771 women became victim of economic repression and 1,548 were physically abused. 200 women were sexually harassed.
Referring to the data of July, MJF Executive Director Shaheen Anam said that the increase in child abuse in the workplace was alarming; however reduction in child marriage and domestic violence against women and girls is a positive sign. She called upon the government to pay special attention to the safety of children in addition to addressing other issues during emergencies. MJF previously also analyzed the situation of domestic and other forms of violence in April, May and June with the help of its partner NGOs.
MJF conducted the survey with the funding support of DFID, SIDA and Global Affairs Canada, to prevent domestic and other forms of violence against women and children. MJF and its partner NGOs provided counseling, follow-up for delivery of services, communication support, medical and legal assistance to local leaders, including children and women victims of violence.
MJF called for prioritizing the issue of women and children, among other things, and urged immediate actions of authorities to keep them free of violence, even after the end of Corona-induced holiday. The suggested actions included, among others: making all help lines such as 109 for domestic violence and 999 for police assistance more effective, so that the victims can quickly get support from the authorities.
For more information, please contact:
Shahana Huda Ranjana
Senior Coordinator, Media and Communication
Mobile: 01711846480, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org