We compile citations and summaries of about 400 new articles every week.
RSS Feed

HELP: Tutorials | FAQ
CONTACT US: Contact info

Search Results

Journal Article


Hossian M, Rashid MU, Nabi MH, Hawlader MDH. Pan. Afr. Med. J. 2021; 40: e267.


(Copyright © 2021, African Field Epidemiology Network)








Violence against children, ranging from mental torture to forceful rape, is a critical public health issue that stifles growth. Convention on the Rights of the Children defined violence against children as "all forms of physical or mental violence, injury and abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse" [1]. Along with all pre-existing forms mentioned in the above definition, online harassment added a new dimension to child abuse during the pandemic situation. Every year, globally, almost one out of every two children or one billion children experience some form of violence [2]. But it is difficult to determine the situation of Bangladesh as there is a dearth of exact statistics related to violence against children. However, as stated by a recent Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) report, nearly 89% of Bangladeshi children aged 1-14 years had experienced violence against them, including physical torture, psychological hostility, etc., from their caregivers in the last one month before the MICS survey conducted [3]. According to KidsRights Index 2021, Bangladesh ranked 110th among 182 countries regarding how childrenĀ“s rights are respected, although the position was 108th in the pre-pandemic situation. Presumably, the problem is worsening, as there has been a sharp increase in child rape and online harassment during the COVID-19 period [4].

Based on reports from Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), a Bangladeshi legal aid and human rights organization, at least 6,514 children (including 705 victims aged six years or below) experienced some form of violence within the years of 2016 to 2020 in Bangladesh, but only 3,237 victims sought for legal action [5]. Among all types of reported violence against children, rape incidents were the highest. Analyzing the child rape incidents from 2013 to 2019, we observed a downward trend between 2017 and 2018, which became abruptly in peak in 2019 (562). This trend is escalating even during this pandemic situation. To be specific, 654 child rape cases were reported during 2020, and for the first six months of 2021, the number was 222 [6]. Furthermore, the statistics mentioned above were based on girls only. It will surely increase a lot if we include the boys too. During the COVID-19 pandemic, online child harassment appears to be a major concern. ASK commenced a survey in 2020 among 108 participants randomly selected from the five districts of Bangladesh. The survey results suggested that at least 30% of the children experienced different forms of online harassment, including sexual exploitation, leaking private information, blackmailing, etc., which was nearly 3.5 times higher than the study conducted by ASK among the girls during the pre-pandemic state. ASK also reported that 88% of the online harassment incidents occurred by strangers. But the most alarming fact was that only 6% of the victims had taken legal action [7]. The complex judicial system and lack of awareness among the parents and children might have led to such legal help-seeking behavior.

However, the number of reported cases by different humanitarian organizations are likely a small part of all the incidents that took place and disproportionately represent some of the most discussed occurrences in the country; for instance, 21 out of 222 rape cases resulted in death during the first six months of 2021 [6]. Nevertheless, they shed some light on the extremity of violence against a child, including child rape and online harassment in Bangladesh. ...

Language: en


Bangladesh; COVID-19; Child abuse


All SafetyLit records are available for automatic download to Zotero & Mendeley