Child marriages have increased sharply in the country with 462 girls falling victim in June during the coronavirus pandemic, Manusher Jonno Foundation said today in its monthly telephonic survey report.
In May, 170 child marriages took place across the country, the organisation said while disclosing outcomes of the report styled "Violence against Women and Children: Covid-19" in a virtual conference.
Overall, the percentage of torture and violence against children increased in June compared to May, MJF said.
It said 233 and 207 attempted child marriage incidents were stopped in May and June respectively.
As reasons behind the rise in child marriages, MJF pointed at the lack of monitoring by local government authorities amid the pandemic.
Besides, closure of educational institutions, social insecurity, insolvency and influence of neighbours prompted guardians to marry their girl children off secretly, MJF added.
MJF, with support from its associated member organisations, conducted a survey in 53 districts for the monthly report. It held a similar survey on violence against women and children for April and May.
MJF Executive Director Shaheen Anam presented the report outcome.
Referring to United Nations statistics, she said globally more than five million girl children are at risk of child marriage because of the emerging situation over coronavirus.
"Early marriage affects a gird child's health negatively," she said.
She added that gender inequality in family surroundings together with a lack of recognition of women's contribution and tendency to demean womanhood are mainly responsible for increase in domestic violence or violence against women.
According to the report, 2,896 children became victims of torture and violence in June whereas the number of such incidents in May was 2,171.
Some 1,376 new children experienced torture in June, said the report.
Overall, 12,740 women and children faced violence in June. The number of such incidents in May was 13,494, it said.