• Tuesday, Sep 25, 2018
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‘No remarkable initiative for child protection in FY19 budget’

  • Published at 10:18 pm June 11th, 2018
  • Last updated at 10:37 pm June 11th, 2018
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Officials of Save the Children organize a press briefing to give their two cents on the proposed budget for the fiscal year 2018-2019 at it's Dhaka office on Monday, June 11, 2018 Dhaka Tribune

AMA Muhith proposed a slight rise in the budget allocation for children in FY2018-19, to 14.1% from 14% in the outgoing fiscal year.

The government has failed to take any significant initiative in its proposed national budget to strengthen the system to stop child violence, an international child rights organization said on Monday.

Save the Children Bangladesh made the claim in a press conference held at its office in Dhaka, four days after Finance Minister AMA Muhith placed the budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year before parliament. 

Despite identifying “several positive initiatives” in the proposed budget – including a higher allocation for children in the Social Protection Force Program – Save the Children said the government needs to be more motivated to improve the overall situation of children.

''We do not see any effort to strengthen the child protection system in the face of increasing incidents of violence against children,'' Laila Khondkar, the organization’s director of Child Rights Governance and Child Protection, said. 

AMA Muhith proposed a slight rise in the budget allocation for children in FY2018-19, to 14.1% from 14.0% in the outgoing fiscal year.

However, Save the Children Bangladesh deputy director for governance and public finance, Md Ashiq Iqbal, said the total share given to children in the safety net allocations is set to decline quite significantly in the next fiscal. 

''In terms of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the education and health sector allocations needed to grow by approximately 25% and 20% respectively,” he said.

“But it is only 11.4% and 5% in FY19 (compared to) 12.4% and 5.2% in FY18. This decline is likely to hurt the poor in general.”

Save the Children Bangladesh also highlighted points which they deemed should have been considered in the budget, such as how to enroll the 5.5 million children who are out of school into the academic curriculum, and the high mortality rate of children under five years.

The organization also pointed to a failure to properly address the increasing violence against children, the prevalence of child marriage, and the poor quality of education in rural areas. 

They added that health and education services for children with disabilities should be more accessible, and that the children should have access to recreational opportunities.