Children are getting frequently abducted for ransom these days. How to combat this dangerous phenomenon?

peo01EACH year thousands of children are kidnapped. Children disappear on their way home from school, during a trip to the grocery store and sometimes right from their own backyards.
The circumstances surrounding child abduction are often quite different from the way they’re shown in television shows and movies. Here are some of the situations in which children are abducted:
•    Most kids who are reported missing have actually run away or there was a misunderstanding with their parents about where they were supposed to be.
•    Of the kids and teens who are truly abducted, most are taken by a family member or an acquaintance; 25 per cent of kids are taken by strangers.
•    Almost all kids kidnapped by strangers are taken by men, and about two thirds of abductions by strangers involve female children.
•    Most abducted kids are in their teens.
•    Kids are rarely abducted from school grounds.
Strategies for preventing abductions:
About 2,100 missing-children reports are filed each day in the United States. Many cases can be solved easily if parents can provide a few key pieces of information about their kids, such as height, weight, eye colour, and a recent photo. Make sure that your kids have the safety information that could help prevent abduction.
Extra precautions are essentials with the help of which abduction can be prevented:
•    Make sure that custody documents are in order.
•    Keep ID-like photos taken of your kids every 6 months and have them fingerprinted. Many local police departments sponsor fingerprinting programmes.
•    Keep your kids’ medical and dental records up to date.
•    Set boundaries about the places your kids go to. Supervise them in places like malls, movie theatres, parks and public bathrooms, or while they are raising funds moving from door to door.
•    Never leave kids alone in a car or stroller, even for a minute.
•    Avoid dressing your kids in clothing with their names on it — children tend to trust adults who know their names.
The important factor is the awareness of the parents. With all the gizmos and gadgets around to distract children on a day-to-day basis, it is important to remind them to be aware of their surroundings. If your child walks home from the bus stop alone with an MP3 player on his or her ears, he or she will make an easy target. Let your children know how important it is to take note of a strange car or anybody following them on foot. Tell them that they need to turn the music off and stay alert.
Anjan Saha
Bangladesh University of Textiles
Tejgaon, Dhaka

ABDUCTION is rampant nowadays in Bangladesh. Whenever we turn over the pages of a newspaper, we find the common news of abduction. Because of social disorder, people are getting involved in this because of social disorder.
The first thing we need to do to resolve this serious problem is to raise social awareness. People who are involved in this crime should be punished. The existing law in connection with this issue has to be enforced stringently.
Schoolchildren are the prime target of this crime. They are the first choice of abductors. School children, therefore, need to be motivated adequately so that they can avoid anything from a stranger. Whenever anything like abduction is about to take place, the local law enforcing agencies or passersby should react immediately and save the children.
The existing law is not being enforced properly; this law should be modified to give priority to abduction so that the number of abductions gets reduced significantly.
After an occurrence of abduction, parents should convey the news to the nearest police station instantly. The police also need to take immediate action to save the children.
Last but not the least, whoever is guilty of this crime should be punished severely. These criminals should not be given bails.
The government should give priority to eradicating the crime of abduction. There should be a special committee whose function will be to work on this issue. Otherwise, we will lose our next generation, which will be an irreparable loss for us.
Md Yusuf Hossain
Delta Life Insurance Company Ltd

KIDNAPPING for ransom is a common phenomenon in many parts of the world today. Some countries are often described as the kidnapping capital of the world. Iraq held the title in 2067; in 2004 it was Mexico and Colombia held the title in 2001. But statistics in this regard are hard to come by.
In Bangladesh, the cases of abduction are on the rise. Incidents of abduction for ransom have also increased. Children are the prime target of this crime. A recent report from a newspaper shows that at last six bodies of school children were recovered in five districts, after they were kidnapped, in the last 10 days of January 2014. We have learnt from different dailies that Ashraful Alam Opu was abducted from Patya of Chittagong on January 21. Another boy named Jahidul was abducted on January 27.
According to the statistics of the police headquarters, 879 people, most of whom are children and businessman, were kidnapped in 2013––the highest number of abductions in a single year since 2004.
The Rapid Action Battalion data show that they have rescued 119 victims of abduction, including 20 children in 114 successful operations during which the elite force had arrested 184 alleged abductors. Actually, no agencies could provide any specific information about how many children were kidnapped in the last year. The actual number cannot be known as some incidents take place keeping the law enforcement agencies in the dark.
The causes behind abduction are many. Some of them include conflict among businessmen, feud between families and collection of ransom. Friends, relatives, or near and dear ones are also involved in kidnapping in some cases. Many conscious people claim that even members of the police and the RAB were involved in some incidents of abduction. But the parents of the victims did not suspect their involvement. In some cases, victims were killed because their parents could not buy their freedom.
It has a bad impact on the mind of the children. Abductors torture innocent children for ransom causing pain to them. Because of this they can’t move without fear after they are rescued. In some cases, parents lose their dear children for not meeting the demand of the culprits. Naturally, parents are now scared to send their children to school alone.
Transaction of money is done through mobile money transfer system nowadays. So, mobile companies can play an important role in identifying the abductors. The RAB, the police, and the Detective Branch need to be more active and take expeditious action after being informed of any abduction case. Parents also have to be conscious about their friends and relatives, and they should take care of their children properly so that their children cannot move out of their sight. Public awareness can resolve this problem significantly. Moreover, moral teachings can eradicate this kind of crimes from the society once and for all.
Md Shariful Islam
English teacher
Doleshwar Adarsha High School

IN A country like Bangladesh, where criminal activities have increased in a terrible manner, the law enforcers have to remain vigilant all the time to stop these activities.
The criminals are abducting little kids and asking for ransom from their parents. This is a dreadful experience for a guardian. So, all should take precautionary measures to ensure the safety and security of their kids. The kids go to school by their school buses. Sometimes, they even go there walking alone when the school is very near. The number of abductions has increased as there is an increase in the number of working parents. These parents can neither drop their kids at school nor pick them up from there after the school is over.
Kidnappers take this advantage. They start collecting information about the parents’ income and also where they reside. This gives them a chance to figure out an amount as ransom which the targeted parents can afford to pay for the release of their kid(s).
In order to deal with such issues, the following measures should be taken:
• Law enforcers should remain vigilant
• Parents must teach or counsel their kids about such occurrences so that their kids do not talk to strangers or eat anything from them.
• To prevent abduction there should be guidelines to be provided by the teachers at school regarding such incidents.
• Preventive measures, in this regard, should be taken both by the parents and the law enforcement agencies of the government.
• All the telephone operators must cooperate with the government agencies and guardians in order to keep track of phone calls immediately.
• Most of the parents do not inform the police of such incidents fearing that kidnappers will harm their kids. But, parents must have faith in the police department and other law enforcing agencies and inform them immediately.
• Security forces should be deputed in different areas in order to maintain strict monitoring and control.
We are hopeful that we will be able to act in a body to resist this evil force of abductors.
Farah Naz Haque
Head of academics and human resources
Cardiff International School Dhaka
Dhanmondi, Dhaka

ABDUCTION or kidnapping is considered a dangerous crime in the world. We need to know what the word ‘abduction’ means.
Abduction is taking someone away illegally specially using force.
Today’s children are the future leaders of our nation. But unfortunately, our children are facing this frightful situation in their lives. We get jitters when we hear about abduction of a child where a group of criminals or kidnappers kidnap a child for ransom. In most cases of child abduction children are killed by the kidnappers only for money.
The steps we can take to come out of this problem:
Parents should be aware of their child/ children’s movement, and with whom they are making friends.
If any incident of kidnapping takes place the police and other law enforcement agencies must take necessary steps to save the child/ children.
The punishment meted out to such criminals must be tough enough to serve as a deterrent.
Raising awareness among teachers of each and every educational institution, and among parents, about abduction can reduce the number of the cases of abduction. Teachers and parents should stay alert to the movements and activities of children and ensure their safety and security.
Law enforcement agencies should stay vigilant to take immediate actions against these criminals when an incident of abduction occurs.
In short, each and every member of society should remain watchful about children’s abduction. Any child may fall victim to abduction. We all, therefore, must take the responsibility to save our children and ensure their safety so that they cannot be kidnapped by anyone anymore.
Shabnam Talukder Barsha
BRAC University

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