Bangladesh children need more care, admits government

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Bangladesh made significant progress in promoting child rights during the last five years but around 58 percent children are still deprived of one of six basic services, says a government draft report.

The draft of the Fifth Periodic Report on child rights labels shelter, sanitation, water, information, education and health as the six basic services for children.

Independence of children suggested

The report–revealed at a consultation meeting yesterday–also states that around 13 percent of all children between the age five and 14 years were still engaged in child labour.

Capacity Building for Monitoring Child Rights, of the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, organised the meeting with stakeholders at the city’s Biam Auditorium to finalise the report.

The report is to be submitted to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child by October 20.

Around 26.5 million children in the country live below the national poverty line and a large number of poor children still remain outside the welfare enhancement programmes of the government and NGOs, the report says.

Net primary school enrolment rate rose from 61 percent in 1991 to 93.5 percent in 2009 while enrolment at secondary level schools rose from 28 percent to 49.1 percent.

The report featured various government initiatives taken to protect child rights over the last five years. They include formulation of different policies, acts, projects and campaign activities.

With an aim of creating further awareness about child rights, the government will introduce a section in school curriculum–from class-I to class-X in the next academic year, the report revealed.

The report stressed the need for more collaboration between the government and NGOs to address the “huge problems” children faced in the country.

Top government officials, NGO and rights activists, representatives of different international children’s rights organisations attended the meeting.

The government has to submit a report in every five years highlighting the progress made to implement the Convention on the Rights of the Child since Bangladesh ratified it in 1990.

The third and fourth periodic reports were submitted together in August 2007. NGOs and civil society members also submit alternative periodic reports to the UN in every five years.