Juvenile crime in BD increases three-fold
By Saleem Samad
DHAKA: Thousands of disadvantaged children in Bangladesh, mostly runaway and single parent child have turned to crime.
The number of child criminals who make their living by mugging or drug- peddling has more than tripled since 1990, says a study released by non-governmental organisation on Saturday.
The dramatic rise comes, as street children become a growing problem in Bangladesh, one of the world’s poorest countries. Some 20,000 Bangladeshi children are criminals, compared with 6,000 in 1990, according to a study carried out by two Bangladeshi rights groups.
The study was carried out by child rights organisation Aparajeyo Bangla and the Bangladesh Shishu Odhikar Forum, a NGO working with disadvantaged children.
Most of the outlaws, aged between eight and 16, got their start under the patronage of hardened criminals and have developed serious drug problems, the study said. It said 90 percent of child criminals worked in small shops, restaurants or as porters as a cover for their work.
Most of the children had carried weapons or explosives, while 31 percent had used arms, including guns or knives, it said. Some 6.9 million Bangladeshis between ages five and 14 lived on the street in 2000, up from 2.5 million in 1974, according to the International Labour Organisation.