South Asian madrasa students face widespread corporal punishment


Despite recent efforts to curb abuse, students in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan still face violence in classrooms. Some laws have been passed to ban the practice, but advocates say legal efforts are still not enough. A video of a madrasa teacher whipping a student mercilessly on his birthday recently went viral in Bangladesh. The 8-year-old had reportedly tried to leave the compound to spend time with his mother, who had visited him that day with birthday gifts. The viral incident, which took place in the southeastern port city of Chittagong, shook the country and later led to the arrest of the teacher. Many social media users in the Muslim-majority country pointed out that the incident is not an isolated event, but rather a reminder of a barbaric practice that has taken place in Bangladesh across several decades. Madrasa students suffer the most A survey conducted by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) and UNICEF between 2012 and 2013 found that over 80% of children aged 1-14 years had experienced “violent punishment,” while 74.4% experienced psychological aggression, 65.9% received physical punishment, and 24.6% saw severe physical punishment.

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