Integrated efforts of all the government and non-government organizations concerned and other stakeholders can be the crucial means of preventing sexual abuse and exploitation against children.
As the present children are the future driving force of the nation successfully they must be protected from all sorts of exploitations, repression and discriminations through playing sensible and responsible roles by all quarters.
The observation came at a stakeholder's dialogue titled "Priority and specific step selection and other ways forward to prevent sexual exploitation against children" by government officials, development activists, leaders of influence and law enforcers at Hotel X in Rajshahi city on Monday.
On behalf of its project titled "Down to Zero Alliance Bangladesh (Stepping up the Fight against Child Sexual Exploitation)", Association for Community Development (ACD) organized the dialogue supported by Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Netherlands and Free A Girl.
District Legal Aid Officer Ariful Islam, Assistant Commissioner of Rajshahi Metropolitan Police Sharmin Akter Chumki, Assistant Superintendent of Police Rezaul Kabir Khan and Deputy Director of Department of Youth Development ATM Golam Mahbub addressed the meeting as resource persons disseminating their expertise on the issue.
With ACD Executive Director Salima Sarwar in the chair, the meeting was addressed, among others, by Editor of Daily Sonar Desh Akbarul Hassan Millat, Upazila Vice-chairman Sufiya Khatun and District Children Affairs Officer Monzur Kader.
ACD Director Sharmin Subrina gave an illustration on the issue during her keynote presentation, while Program Coordinator Subrata Kumar Paul moderated the discussion. The meeting was told that sexual exploitation now turns into a social disorder and utmost emphasis should be given to combat the disorder collectively.
Discussants unequivocally called for forging social resistance against any sorts of violence and repression against children so that they can flourish their latent talents.
Children will remain secure from sexual repression and harassment if the guardians monitor them properly.
The meeting was also told that incidents of child marriage, child labour, sexual abuse and child trafficking have increased, resulting in sexual exploitation of children.
Stressing on building a child sensitive environment, the discussants called for close collaboration and coordination among government agencies and civil societies for ensuring safety of children.