POST TIME: 22 November, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Child rights for all layers of society

Child rights for all 
layers of society

Children growing up with proper education, affection, love and security go on to become the backbone of a nation, and since more than 40 per cent of Bangladesh’s population now comprises children, the duty of the nation, schools, parents and society is to ensure that their rights are not violated. From the austerity driven, crippled situation of the 70s, Bangladesh is now a country with prosperity at all layers of society with development touching every nook and corner. At such a moment, the children of this country have to be provided nutritional food, sporting facilities and a chance to dream big.

In the privation filled period after independence, a large section of children in rural areas suffered from diseases, with high school dropout and infant mortality rates. In those times, many children were also forced into labour to survive, facing oppressive treatment and torture. In modern day Bangladesh, countless social organisations are vocal about upholding child rights, especially for those who come from less privileged backgrounds.

It goes without saying that children will have a memorable childhood when they have a conducive family atmosphere. When values are practiced in the family, a child grows up to be a person with compassion, empathy and ideals. While Bangladesh has made remarkable strides in economic development, the ethos of society has often been compromised, resulting in a mercenary zeitgeist which has insidiously seeped into our national psyche.

Such predatory ideologies can only lead to a selfish, isolated social system where people will only be concerned with their own benefit. In the long run, this makes a society vacuous and soul-less. Therefore, ideals like honesty, integrity, loyalty, camaraderie need to be cherished at schools and homes. No form of economic development can supersede the need to have a nation which is conscious about the division between right and wrong.  On the occasion of World Children’s Day on Wednesday, concerned bodies voiced a demand for the implementation of the Children Act 2013, enacted to establish the rights of children. This can reap dividends when the act is taught in a simplified form at academic institutions. In Bangladesh, a large number of underage children still work for a living and the practical approach would be to sensitise employers about treating children as minors and not as adults.  While it would be ideal to eradicate all forms of child labour, in the real world, ensuring better rights and treatment will go a long way in making lives of child workers better. The government has to run an awareness campaign within restaurants, workshops and homes where children are employed.