WHAT MAKES US TO BE INHUMANE TOWARDS CHILDREN?
The continuous ruthless killings, torture and abuse of children in Bangladesh are turning into a daily life phenomenon that we fail to prevent let alone stop. Law is there, trial process is there and the crying for children justice turns into screaming but all these things regrettably end with no results. This is not the ending rather in many cases child abuse is getting new dimensions along with distinctive styles of torture.
While protection of children is supposed to get priority, abuse of children is seeing wider demonstration instead. Here Protection replaces the ill-treatment against children. This is true that immediate trail of the perpetrators can bring solace to the victim's family and warn the potential perpetrators but this cannot ultimately prevent the abuse of children that we are seeing with each passing day.
The underlying cause of child abuse associates not with the behaviour of particular individual only rather it represents how the society views or treats the children and how they receive and react?
Torture in the name of regulation is justified traditionally in our society starting from primary school to university level. What makes the difference is that earlier children by virtue of unawareness were most obedient even being tortured but now they react against any unjust behaviour and consequently they are becoming the victims of brutal torture. Here lies the significance of attitude building not only for the adults but also for the children.
In terms of attitude building children always learn from parents and adults since they cannot make their own decisions. So it is easy to predict that the behaviour what we do against children will be paid accordingly. It is evident that children these days are having difficult times because of the attitude of the adults while statistics suggest that if you treat or protect ten children properly seven of them will come to the right path.
Coming back to the causes of child abuse it can be clearly said after analysing the recent incidents that child labour is the source of child abuse. When a child cannot perform according to the desire of the employer, oppression starts. Here it is obvious that child abuse starts when there is an existence of violation of children rights that is child labour. A single problem generates more problems!
With a view to addressing the problems of children, even the constitution of Bangladesh provides special privileges to the children and it allows the concerned laws to be discriminatory for the sake of ensuring the best interest of the children. Children Act 2013 also incorporates provisions dealing with the protection measures with a view to ensuring children rights. Some provisions of this Act reflect the provisions of Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in order to comply with international standard of child protection.
Though the Act calls for setting up National, District and Upazila Child Welfare Boards, Child Affairs Desk at the police station, establishing sufficient numbers of safe homes and certified institutes, unfortunately we do not see the implementation of these provisions.
Law cannot function properly in a dysfunctional society in which we are living; law cannot ensure justice when state lacks commitment in terms of ensuring rule of law. Law is certainly meant to be blind when the protector and executor of law turn into violator and perpetrator of law. Amidst of social unrest prevalent everywhere people become intolerant to others even to their beloved kids and they show zero respect towards laws.
To come out from this upheaval, endeavours should march from all corners of the society. Most significantly, the main principles governing child rights: non-discrimination, best interest of the child, parental guidance should be practiced firstly within the family. Parents should not only educate but also edify their children to foster their ideals and values. Any kind of dominance and inhumane attitude instead of positive influence from the parents might results into the denial of their growth. What Kahlil Gibran said regarding the relationship of parents and children deserves to be signified here, in his words, “they (children) come through you but not from you, And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts. For they have their own thoughts”.
Lastly we should not forget that when we protect our children for a single reason we are actually protecting ourselves and our future.
The writer works with law desk, The Daily Star.