4.3m children in BD still out of school

4.3m children in BD still out of school

FE ONLINE REPORT |  November 23, 2019 21:29:01


Even though the country has made great strides in promoting child rights, around 4.3 million children aged six to 15 are deprived of the opportunity to receive schooling.

Representative UNICEF in Bangladesh, Tomoo Hozumi disclosed it at a function at a city hotel on Saturday.

At the meeting, organised by UNICEF, Hozumi said the birth of 44 per cent of children under five years of age are reported not to be registered with a civil authority.

  Mr Hozumi also revealed that 4.4 million children under five years of age suffer from stunting, adding that nine out of every ten children experience physical and/or physiological aggression by caregivers.

The UNICEF representative also highlighted the steps Bangladesh took in promoting children’s rights.

These include:

  • Reduction in under-five mortality rate from 151 per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 40 in 2019;
  • Increase in the percentage of fully vaccinated children from 52 per cent in 1991 to 82 per cent in 2016
  • Reduction in stunting among children under five years of age from 72 per cent in 1993 to 28 per cent in 2019.

At the event, a group of children and adolescents met face to-face with policymakers; shared their opinions and hopes, raised concerns about the specific issues affecting their wellbeing and discussed solutions to the problems.

Stating it as a beginning of direct and systematic inter-generational dialogue between children and lawmakers of their respective constituencies, Tomoo Hozumi said, “This initiative gave children an opportunity to discuss their own rights, share their experiences, opinions and recommend actions with policymakers through a series of consultations and development of a youth manifesto.”

It is a great opportunity for both policymakers and children to listen to each other and to create solutions to the issues and problems faced, added he.

Fazle Rabbi Miah, deputy speaker of the National Parliament and also chief adviser of Parliamentary Caucus on Child Rights, urged all to be united to liberate the country from the land grabbers.

He also called upon the guardians to take care of their children as per their need.

Dr. Hossain Zillur Rahman, executive chairman, Power and Participation Research Centre (PPRC), highlighted the need for taking two programmes like school feeding programme and school health programme for ensuring proper healthcare and nutrition for children across the country.

Shamsul Haque Tuku, MP, president, Parliamentary Caucus on Child Rights and lawmaker Meher Afroz Chumki also spoke on the occasion among others.

The speakers said a large number of children are yet to receive the full extent of rights in terms of health, nutrition, education and protection from violence, exploitation and abuse.

They urged the government to ensure the rights of all children including the physically challenged ones.

The experts, mentioning the records of Bangladesh in the last three decades, hoped that these remaining and emerging challenges can also be successfully addressed with political will and determination.

However, they added the country has made substantial progresses towards securing the rights of children since the country signed the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in 1990.

The CRC@30 Forum was held in Dhaka to observe 30th anniversary of UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and World Children’s Day.

Before Dhaka, the government and UNICEF organised eight rounds of divisional forums to facilitate dialogues and engagement with children and young people from 300 electoral constituencies.

The participants discussed their views on the status of their own rights and the policies that have direct impact on their current and future lives.

The CRC@30 Forum in Dhaka is the last of this series of dialogue.

sajibur@gmail.com

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