10 October 2013 | Ain o Salish Kendra Child Rights Unit, Save the Children and the Child Rights Governance Assembly (CRGA) facilitated a dialogue between representatives of the major political parties before their election manifestoes are written. The purpose of the event was to highlight child rights issues as a matter of importance, considering it is allocated one of the smallest budgets in all the Government ministries.
With issues such as violence against child domestic workers, only being highlighted when particular cases such as the case of domestic help, Aduri, reaches the headlines. Law’s need to be implemented and given utmost importance to secure the rights of children in these vulnerable positions. Representatives from four different factions lightly touched on issues of concern.
The event started with two children reading out their demands.
1. We demand political assurance to stop using us for political advantage, we also demand executing regulation protecting this assurance.
2. Increase investment and allocation of exclusive local and national budget for deprived people and also demand for appropriate share of the given budget.
3. We demand our participation for our development plan. Therefore creating laws to include our participation about the development plan.
4. Our demand is creating legislation to protect the use of children in the media.
5. We demand a separate body to protect our rights , in the form of a child ombudsman or the creation of an independent children’s commission.
6. We want assurance from all political parties to execute the Childrens Act 2013.
Fazle Hosen Badsha MP, Polite Bauru Member, Workers Party of Bangladesh. Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee of Education.
- Children should not be used in political demonstrations , this practice should be banned.
- Committee should be formed for protecting Child rights in Union and Upazilla level.
- Specific Budget should be maintained in every sphere of government administration.
- Children should be protected on roads and High ways.
- Children should not be educated under any other curriculum, except government education policy .
- A policy should be formed for protecting children in the media.
Razekuzzaman Raton, Executive Member, Bangladesh Samajtantrik Dal
- The advertisement of food for children and accessories in the media should be well thought out and perhaps censored. ”We should think about what chemicals are in the food our children are eating”.
- Every school should have a provision for welfare, for doctors, wash rooms and play grounds.
- The height ratio benches and table should be properly maintained.
- Child care center should be maintained by the government as the number of working women are increasing.
Enam Ahmed Chowdhury, Member of the Advisory committee to the chairperson, Bangladesh Nationalist committee (BNP)
- Planning commission should take necessary initiatives in protecting child rights.
- Good governance required to meet needs, not just lip service.
- A monitoring cell should be formed for protecting child rights.
- Like Japan has disaster management assessment of provision, the same precautions need to be taken for the needs of children, in the event of any disaster.
Shagufta Yesmin Emily MP, Opposition Whip, National Parliament of Bangladesh.
- Local Government and political leaders should be more active about protecting Child rights.
- Religious leaders sometimes give incorrect interpretation that leads to exploitation.
- We should be more attentive to the needs of street children.
Nur E Alam Lenin, Presidium Member, Bangladesh Awami League.
He spoke about the success and initiatives of the present government in protecting child rights and celebrating initiatives, such as the ”Millenium Development Goals” achieved by the Awami government. He also said that his party will include the demands of the children which arises in his seminar of the manifestos for the next parliamentary election. He agreed with the other speakers, on the abolition of child labour and the need to form a separate Child commission for evaluating the violation of child rights.
Sultana Kamal concluded the discussion, speaking strongly against the use of children in political rallies, especially the Hefajat rally and how society was responsible for allowing this to happen. She also mentioned the importance of implementing the pending laws sufficiently to ensure equality.
“At least 45% of our total population is children and among them, around 400,000 children are involved in labour. – Click to read Dhaka Tribune Coverage of the Event