Sexual Violence against Minor: Assessing Child Rape and Torture

Dr Zia Rahman1

1University of Dhaka, Dhaka, Bangladesh

The reports of sexual violence against women and children nationwide in Bangladesh has seen increasing numbers over the past few years. From 377 in 2017, the number of child rapes has increased to 444 in 2018 thereby the rate of child rape has increased by 18% within one year, according to an annual review submitted by Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK). The report further shows the increase of child rapes with a total of 1,011 children who suffered from different kinds of torture in 2018, among which 283 children died, 108 children committed suicide and 28 children died under mysterious circumstances. In the age of urbanization, modernity and the uncontrolled use of the internet, Bangladesh is experiencing a phase of transition in which the breakdown of social control through the institutions of the family, community, media and justice system has left reduced social constraints on the violent crime of rape. Thus, as communities are not self-policing and are imperfectly policed by outside agencies, individuals can be seen exercising unrestricted freedom to express their dispositions and desires, taking form of violence against women and children. The impact of Shaw and McKay’s work on social disorganization theory leading to the commission of the heinous crime is a major focus of the paper which takes on a qualitative approach adopting semi-structured in-depth interviews of victims’ families, experts etc. and relying on different secondary sources to shed light on the behavioral processes behind the increasing crimes against women and children.


Professor Dr. Zia Rahman

Professor and Founder Chair, Department of Criminology, University of Dhaka

Originally a sociologist, Professor Rahman finished his undergraduate and post graduate degree from the Department of Sociology, University of Dhaka in 1988 and 1989 respectively with first class 2nd positions in both the degrees. Professor Zia then pursued his second Masters and Ph.D. degrees with the Dean of Social Sciences award and the Department of Sociology scholarships, University of Calgary, Canada in 2003 and 2010 respectively. Dr. Zia started his career as a Lecture in the department of Sociology at Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Sylhet in 1993 and served until 1997. He then moved to Dhaka University in 1997.  Hence Professor Zia has a more than 26 years university teaching career. Professor Rahman was also a faculty at the University of Calgary where he taught two senior undergraduate courses (Soc354 and Soc313) entitled Sociology of Third World Cities and Research Methodology. At Calgary, he received the best graduate teaching award in 2008.  The dissertation title of Professor Rahman’s Ph.D. was “Labour Union and Labour Movements in the Readymade Garment (RMG) Industries in Bangladesh in the era of Globalization.”

Professor Rahman is also an adjunct faculty of the Department of Economics and the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), DU teaching sociology. He also taught at the East West University, Bangladesh. Professor Rahman is one of the leading western trained expert on RMG industries and labour issues in Bangladesh. He also acts as a regular academic adviser, examiner and various committee members for the National Defence College (NDC) and the Defence Services Command & Staff College. Professor Rahman’s main areas of research include labour union, labour and social movements, labour and globalization, work organization, urban sociology, theory, transnational crime, terrorism and violence, radicalization and deradicalization and research methods.

Zia Rahman has been actively engaged as a team leader and research associates for more than 30 research projects funded by the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, USAID, UNICEF, UNDP, DAAD and for many other national and international organizations. Lately he submitted a grand proposal for DAAD, Germany with Professor Christoph Scherrer, Executive Director of the International Center for Development and Decent Work (ICDD) at the University of Kassel, Germany on the question of sustainable development in the RMG industries in Bangladesh, which is a 240,000 euro project. Lately, professor received a 40000 euro fund from GIZ in terms of training of the mid-level management in the RMG industries. Professor Zia published 23 peer review articles and book chapters in various national and international journals including Wiley, Springer, Taylor and Francis, BioMed Central, Socialist Studies and ILO. Dr. Zia presented 44 academic conference and seminar papers nationally and internationally. At present he is the team leader of five research projects funded by Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), Criminal Investigation Department (CID), the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime Unit (CTTC), Bangladesh Police, and the RAB forces.

Professor Rahman is a leading public intellectual in Bangladesh and so far he has published 27 OP-ED pieces in various newspapers, and is one of the leading talk show guests for almost all the television channels in Bangladesh.

As an active community member, Dr. Zia served as a Joint Secretary for two consecutive terms (i.e., in 2012-13 and 2013-14) and Executive Member for 2013-14, 2014-16, and 2017-18 at the Dhaka University Teachers Association (DUTA), and as a Senate Member of the University of Dhaka for 2013-2016 and 2017 till date. He is also a member of Dhaka University Tribunal Committee. Professor Rahman is the current Provost of Muktijoddha Ziaur Rahman Hall, U of Dhaka.  He is also is the President of Bangladesh Criminological Society and Joint Secretary, Bangladesh Sociological Association. Professor Rahman travelled 25 countries including USA, UK, Australia, Japan, Canada, Germany, South Africa, Netherlands, Brazil, France, Sweden, Vietnam and India.

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