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Dhaka Tribune

Don’t use children for political gain: Unicef

Update : 27 Apr 2013, 04:14 AM

The Unicef has urged all political parties to make sure that children are protected from all sorts of violence and not used for political purposes in Bangladesh.

“The use of children for political gain must stop,” Unicef Representative Pascal Villeneuve said in a statement.

“Unicef is alarmed to see that children have been in the forefront of recent demonstrations held by political parties in Bangladesh. Over the past few weeks, hartals (general strikes) and demonstrations have been called by various parties as a means to voice their demands,” Pascal said.

He continued: “We also ask the Government of Bangladesh to make sure that access to essential services needed by children is not disrupted during hartals. We all have a duty to ensure that children are sheltered from political disturbances.”

The Unicef representative also urged all concerned to keep children out of any kind of violence and to solve the current problem through peaceful dialogue. “Children should be able to continue with their regular activities such as going to school, participating in sport and other constructive and creative activities.”

Bangladesh is a signatory of the Convention on the Rights of Child (CRC), which states that children have to be protected “from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation.”

Use of children in political demonstrations may put them at risk of physical and mental violence and injury. There is also clear provision in the country’s National Children’s Policy 2011 that “children cannot be used in political activities, neither could they be lured nor compelled to be involved in such activities.”  



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