Thirty-six Bangladeshi children being illegally detained in an “observation home” in South Dinajpur, West Bengal is a human rights travesty.
Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM), a West Bengal-based human rights organisation, has said these children have not been taken back to their respective hometowns despite the fact that the criminal cases against them have been settled.
It is a sad day indeed when innocent children are forced to stay away from their homes without due process.
Ramjan Haque is only about six years old. Many like him are being detained indefinitely, with little hope for repatriation any time soon.
This is beyond reprehensible.
In times such as these, India and Bangladesh -- neighbours and close allies -- need to work together to ensure the rights of children are protected. These children should be returned to us as soon as possible, and the authorities responsible for this gross violence of child rights should be taken to task.
It is also important that there is transparency during the process, so that families are aware of what is happening to their children, and that channels of communication are open to avoid violations of the law.
Children are our most valuable and most defenseless group, and it is up to all of us to ensure their safety. We, as a nation, must demand that these illegally detained children are repatriated to Bangladesh, to their rightful homes.
We cannot afford to fail them.