The NPA has been developed as a result of a lengthy, broad and inclusive process of consultations at national and sub-national levels
The Ministry of Women and Children Affairs and UNICEF Bangladesh have jointly launched the National Plan of Action (NPA) aiming to end child marriage in the country.
The goal of the NPA is to end the marriage of girls below 15 years of age and to reduce by one third the rate of marriage for girls of 18 years in 2021, and to completely eliminate child marriages by 2041.
The launching ceremony was organized in Dhaka on Thursday.
Congratulating the government for launching the much-awaited NPA, UNICEF Bangladesh representative Edouard Beigbeder said: “Ending child marriage is a priority for both the government and its development partners, as it will preserve their childhood, secure children's rights to education and life, reduce their exposure to violence and exploitation and contribute to ending inter-generational poverty.”
He also hoped that in line with the guiding principles, strategies and expected results outlined in NPA, partners will move forward in supporting the Bangladesh government to end child marriage and thus promote the rights of young girls and boys to have a better future.
“UNICEF and Plan International are helping us in this program. If we can continue current activities in regard to eliminating child marriage we will then surely successful. Our activities are getting international recognition,” said Dr Abdul Hossain, project director of Women and Children Affairs Ministry’s Multi-Sectoral Program on Violence against Women.
Under the overall leadership of the ministry, the NPA has been developed as a result of a lengthy, broad and inclusive process of consultations at national and sub-national levels.
The many consultations that were held in Dhaka and in the seven divisions involved not only different government agencies and local level authorities, but also a wide range of international and local NGOs, donor agencies, UN organizations, civil society groups, religious leaders, and adolescent girls and boys.
The time frame for implementing the NPA is from fiscal year 2018-19, considered the base year, to FY2029-30.
State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Meher Afroze Chumki attended Thursday’s program as the chief guest, while British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Alison Blake, Public Administration Ministry Additional Secretary Md Muazzem Hossain, and Plan International Country Director Orla Murphy were present as special guests.