UNICEF calls for coordinated efforts to end sexual abuse and commercial exploitation of childrenDhaka 29 March 2011: UNICEF calls for coordinated efforts to end both sexual abuse and commercial exploitation of children as child sexual abuse is widely ignored compared to commercial sexual exploitation and child trafficking.
Speakers urged to distinguish between ‘child sexual abuse’, ‘exploitation’ ‘trafficking’ today at the launching ceremony of the study report on “Sexual Abuse and Commercial Exploitation of children: Elements for National Strategy and Plan of Action” The report was launched by the Home Minister Advocate Sahara Khatun as the chief guest at the Spectra Convention Centre, Gulshan today.
Among others, Michel Saint-Lot, Deputy Representative, Rose-Anne Papavero, Chief, Child Protection section of UNICEF spoke on the occasion. Therese Blanchet, consultant who conducted the study, also gave a brief presentation on the findings of the study.
The study stressed the need to recognize the long lasting and devastating consequences of sexual abuse for the victim family and society. The study reveals that greater attention is given to ‘manage’ the dishonor and minimize social consequences while little support is offered to the traumatized person who is expected to silence her pain.
This document also exposes the serious issue of sexual abuse of boys which has failed to be properly recognized in the past. Efforts should be made to increase the number of prosecutions for sexual abuse of girls. Laws exist but the application is difficult.
This publication looks at the various ways in which sexual abuse and exploitation are currently present in Bangladeshi society, examines the consequences of such activity and evaluates existing response mechanisms. It also reviews the 2002 National Plan of Action to Combat Child Sexual Abuse, Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking, assesses progress on implementation and identifies specific gaps. The focus is on sexual abuse and commercial sexual exploitation; trafficking is addressed in a separate exercise.
The study made it clear that sexual abuse of children and their exploitation in prostitution derives from deep structural/societal problems coming from relationships between adults and children and how gender and sex are understood in a society of socio-economic inequality. This needs to be dealt with together with existing but limited interventions dealing with child victims of sexual abuse and exploitation.
For further information, please contact:
Iftikhar Ahmed Chowdhury, Communication Officer, Communication and Information Section 9336701-10 Ext 7028 firstname.lastname@example.org