bdmetronews Desk ॥ The Covid-19 pandemic threatens to spark a dramatic surge in violence against young girls in the Asia-Pacific region and could lead to an additional 13 million child marriages worldwide over the next decade, children’s rights experts have warned.
An alarming new report by Save the Children and Plan International has warned that nearly 10 million children – mostly girls – may never return to school following pandemic lockdowns. It also highlights the increased threat of online sex abuse and domestic violence due to prolonged confinement at home and rising economic and health pressures. Over the last 12 months, more than 37% of all women in South Asia, 40% in South-East Asia and 68% in the Pacific experienced sexual or physical violence by an intimate partner, with many countries recording an escalating risk during lockdowns.
In India, a national hotline received 92,000 calls during the first 11 days of lockdown, while domestic violence cases have doubled in Thailand during the quarantine period and similar rises have been recorded in countries including Bangladesh, Singapore and Malaysia. According to the United Nations, an extra 15 million gender-based violence cases are expected for every three months the lockdown continues globally.