Speakers at a program on Monday stressed the need to set up a national commission for children to ensure their rights
Program Coordinator for Manusher Jonno Foundation, Abdullah Al Mamun, has demanded that a national commission be set up for ensuring children’s rights.
He was delivering a keynote speech at a round table discussion titled “Child Rights Situation in Bangladesh: Role of Parliament Members,” organized by Parliamentary Caucus on Child Rights and Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum (BSAF) at IDP conference hall, National Parliament on Monday.
Addressing the discussion, Abdullah said: “A national commission for children must be formed to ensure child rights. The commission should play a similar role played by the Bangladesh Mahila Parishad (national commission for women).”
He also argued in favour of a three-dimensional reviews process for understanding whether child rights are being upheld, the existing legal structure, and social responsibilities involving the issue.
Highlighting a comparative analysis of violence against children in Bangladesh, Abdullah revealed that the number of children becoming victims of rape, murder, suicide, kidnapping, physical and other crimes has spiked significantly in the first six months of 2018, compared to the same period last year.
Addressing the issue, Abdus Shahid Mahmood, director for BSAF said: “Bangladesh adopted the National Children Act in 1974, only 3 years after its independence. The move was an exceptional, far sighted and unprecedented success for a new born state.”
The BSAF director added that no other country in the world had adopted a child rights act in such a short period.
Deputy Speaker for Bangladesh National Parliament Fazle Rabbi Miah said: “Members of the civil society only raise their voices on issues of politics, but not on issues addressing public development.”
In his speech, Rabbi also blamed social media platforms and smartphones for the erosion of moral values of teenagers, and suggested that parents should not provide smartphones to their children until they are at least 18 years old.
Present at the program, Shakila Mahmood, head of United Nations Development Program’s (UNDP) Human Rights wing, expressed satisfaction about the country’s rapid economic growth, adding that Bangladesh would secure a position among the top forty developed countries in the world by 2050.
She also expressed concerns regarding the wellbeing of the children, who are the future of Bangladesh.
Stating that illegal narcotics are the main culprits behind the moral degradation of children, Mir Showkat Ali Badsha, chairman of the Parliamentary Caucus on Child Rights lauded Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s zero tolerance policy on drugs and the ongoing anti-drug campaign in Bangladesh.
Lawmakers Nazmul Haque Prodhan, Panchanan Bishwas, Shamsul Alam Dudu, Kazi Rozi and Kamrunnahar Chowdhury were present at the discussion among many others.