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Thursday, November 20, 2014, Agrahayan 6, 1421, Muharram 26, 1436 Hijr

Scanty budget hampers child rights policy implementation
Saifunnahar Sumi
Publish Date : 2014-11-20,  Publish Time : 00:00,  View Count : 12
Majority of Bangladesh children come from underprivileged families and, in most cases, are deprived of their rights due to poverty, gender discrimination and lack of proper implementation of child related policies, though around half of the total population is children.
According to the National Child Policy, 45 percent of the total population is children.
Against this backdrop Bangladesh is going to observe the 25th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) today (Thursday).
According to the Bangladesh Government Report 2009, 45 percent children drop out in grade five and they are being engaged regularly in hazardous work due to lack of proper implementation of National Education Policy.
Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics Report 2002- 03 said, around 79 lakh children are engaged in different hazardous work at age between 5 and 17 years and most of them do not complete primary education course although they are to be in schools, according to the Children Act 2013, the National Child Labour Elimination Policy 2010 and the Child Rights Convention.
Bangladesh is the first rung country to sign the Child Rights Convention in 1990, which was adopted in 1989. The country implemented a host of the recommendations of the 54-section Convention and, as a result, child education rate has increased, Child death rate has decreased, physical punishment has been prohibited and hazardous work list has been prepared.
Children are deprived of proper education and the rate of malnourished children has been increasing as child marriage rate is 66 per cent now and they are getting married before 18 and most of them are girls.
The malnutrition rate is 41 per cent in country and it tops the rates of the South Asian countries, BDHS 2011 Report said.
Gender discrimination and inequity in the society are increasing due to child marriage and the 85-year-old Act is not adequate to stop child marriage, civil society members observe.
Other factors which have jinxed proper rearing up of children are -the budget allocation is very poor and does not cover all children, there is no separate ministry or directorate for children, even there is no desk for child rights in the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs which is responsible for upholding child rights.
The budget does not contain good allocation to implement child related laws and policies.
"The Government has done many good initiatives for children but we didn't see full implementation of laws. It's not possible to uphold child rights without proper implementation of laws," said Executive Director of Ain o Salish Kendra, a civil rights organization.
The government should ensure security especially for girls, policy implementation, and bring to justice the offenders and remove poverty by implementing different acts and projects to promote child rights, she said.
Child Rights Advocacy Coalition, Bangladesh is going to celebrate 25th anniversary of The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) as elsewhere around the globe today.
Some ten leading INGOs/NGOs/Networks have formed Child Rights Advocacy Coalition in Bangladesh in this year to monitor and raise voice on child rights violation.
The Coalition demands a separate directorate for child with enough manpower and budgetary allocation, passage of Child Marriage Prevention Act 2014 within 2014 and keeping the marriage age of girls at 18, setting an aim to ensure child protection and development in post-MDG 2015, more budget allocation for children, inclusion of child rights related issues in educational curriculum from primary to higher secondary level.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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