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POST TIME: 21 June, 2019 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 21 June, 2019 01:13:19 AM
Safeguarding children’s rights

Safeguarding 
children’s rights

National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Chairman Kazi Reazul Hoque while addressing a national level consultation titled ‘Elimination of Child Labour’ at CIRDAP conference room in the capital Wednesday stressed on the need of formation of Child Commission for protecting the rights of the children, who comprise about 40 per cent of the country’s total population. There can be no second opinion to this.

Children are the future of the country and development of the country cannot be thought of ignoring their rights. But there is hardly any reason to become optimistic at the overall scenario related to children’s rights in the country. Increasing incidents of abduction, murder and abuse of children in recent times belie the rhetoric uttered about children’s rights. Absence of birth registration is the first deprivation that a child of an impoverished family confronts. This triggers difficulty in ascertaining his or her age.   

Underprivileged children are exposed to harsh realities of life. They are compelled to work from very early age to eke out a living. Haunting experience of sexual abuse very often leaves them traumatized. They become victims of trafficking and other forms of violence and exploitation.   Many children grow up in slums and footpaths in the country, particularly in the capital, without any care and attention. Over the past few years the country saw a phenomenal increase in the number of street children with the rapid population growth.

The street children are used by political leaders, activists and godfathers in different ways. The activities they are engaged in for a small amount of money are risky and may imperil their life. Growing up in a culture of crime and violence, they have hardly any scope for cultivating good manner, human values, justice and humility. Almost 85 per cent of them are growing up in a dirty and unhygienic environment; they face malnutrition and different diseases. Many of them get involved in crimes like theft, snatching, drug selling and even the female children are engaged in prostitution.

 Children must be freed from all sorts of cruelties and inhuman behaviours, violation, repression and deprivation for building them as worthy citizens.  The children of poor families should be brought under vocational educational programme so that they can be engaged in income-generating activities to live life with dignity.