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within the main reading room. Community libraries exist in cities and towns around the country. Children’s corners have been established in 25 community development libraries around the country under a UNICEF-supported pilot project.

159.A leading book-reading and library focused NGO has set up a central library at Dhaka and 28 mobile Library Units across 42 districts. In enrolling readers, children are given priority in these mobile libraries.

160.In Bangladesh, it should be mentioned, regulation exists in relation to publications and censorship on films for protecting the citizens against harmful information and materials. Common grounds for censoring or banning films and publications include obscenity and offence to religious sentiment. There is no restriction on access to the Internet. Satellite Television Channels are operating in the country with minimum regulations.

I.The right not to be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, including corporal punishment

161.The Penal Code, 1860 contains a number of different sections which protect individuals against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The Constitution guarantees protection of all citizens against torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment or treatment. Children are however, subjected to torture and physical punishment. Child beating is practiced to discipline children in the family, schools, work place and religious institutions and in village salish (mediation). However this is being decreased since 2000 as reflected in Consultation Meetings on this Report.

162.The Government is fully aware of the problem and taking necessary measures through different means to overcome the situation. Motivational training is provided to teachers, police, judges and others concerned. Awareness creation programme with the support of NGOs for parents/guardians and communities are also undertaken.

163.Rape and sexual assaults are committed against young women and girls. Issues related to rape and sexual assault are the difficulties of arranging a timely medical examination, the production of witnesses, receiving community support, and dealing with social stigma, which in turn discourages reporting of the crime. Bangladesh Health and Injury Survey (BHIS), 2003 reveals that suicide is a problem in the country, particularly for children ages 15 to 17.

164.One particular form of violence is acid attacks which have traumatic consequences, scarring the victims physically and damaging psychologically and socially for life. Acid attacks are mainly a crime against children and young women, although more recently, boys and young men have also been targets of this crime. The overwhelming majority of the victims are young women. The enactment of The Acid Control Act, 2002 and The Acid Crimes Prevention Act, 2002 helps deal with the issue. The One-Stop-Crisis Centres in Dhaka and other divisional head quarters have been introduced together with a Hotline System for women vulnerable to violence. Some NGOs have undertaken programmes on prevention and post attack services for the victims and also awareness building activities. One national daily is also working for the purpose throughout the country with special focus on awareness creation and supporting the victims towards social integration.

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