Child abuse and child marriage amid the Covid-19 crisis increased alarmingly in June compared to May and April, according to a survey of the Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF).
As many as 2,896 children were fallen victim to various forms of child abuse like rape and murder in June while it was 2,171 in May, the telephone survey report titled “Violence against Women and Children: Covid-19” said.
462 child marriages occurred in June this year while it was 170 in May. 207 child marriages were stopped in June whereas it was 233 in May, the report stated.
The report was disclosed through a video conference on Sunday. MJF executive director Shaheen Anam unveiled the report.
The survey was conducted on 57,704 in 53 districts.
Of them, a total of 12,740 women and children witnessed the victims of violence and torture in June while the number of incidents was 13,494.
Among the children, the number of girls was 1,677 whereas the number of boys was 1,219 in June.
MJF continues systematic monitoring of Violence against women and girls during current Pandemic
Reasons of increasing child marriage are deepening poverty caused by the loss of regular jobs both in formal and informal sectors, closure of educational institutions, loss of livelihoods, traditional attitude and social norms seeing girls as dependent and burden, pandemic disrupting the collaborative effort of community NGOs, and the government to prevent child marriage and closure of schools, lack of security at home and outside reproductive health care crisis.
The survey also recommended that there is a need to revisit the National Plan of Action to end Child Marriage and need re-plan immediately considering present COVID crisis including making required budgetary provisions.
Strong coordinated effort should start without any delay, MOWCA must call a meeting with all levels of stakeholders both at the nation and local level, it pointed out.
Adapting life skills and girl empowerment programmes through distance learning, using radio or online platforms should start without delay, the survey said.