Ratify UN Optional Protocol for safeguarding child rights


Human Rights activists on Sunday called on the government to ratify the optional protocol to the convention on the rights of the child on a communications procedure.

The international treaty allows children to file grievances with United Nations if the legal system of the ratifying country fails to remedy their rights violation.

They were speaking at a roundtable titled “Child protection situation in Bangladesh: Importance of ratification of Optional Protocol-3” at the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) office in Dhaka organized by the commission jointly with Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum (BSAF) and Human Rights Programme of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on October 07, 2018.

“Bangladesh was one of the first 20 countries that ratified the UN convention on child rights, so there is no question of our commitment to protect the rights of children,” said NHRC Chairman Kazi Reazul Haque and pointed out that ratifying the protocol will further strengthen the protection of children rights in Bangladesh.

“The government needs to have a clear picture about the hardships in its course for the ratification and how to overcome those. We will soon send a letter to the government regarding the issue,” Haque said.

BSAF Director Abdus Shahid Mahmood, Manusher Jonno Foundation Programme Coordinator Abdulla Al Mamun and Sharmeela Rassool, Chief Technical Advisor of Human Rights Programme, UNDP, also spoke at the event.

The call comes in wake of the rising child rights violation in the country. A survey conducted by BSAF earlier this year found a 7.13 percent rise in 2017 compared to 2016.

The child rights platform based their data on media reports which showed 3,845 instances of child rights violation compared to 3,589 in the previous year.

Some 339 children were killed and 593 raped in 2017, which increased by 28 per cent and 33 per cent respectively.

The survey found that 1,710 children died in unnatural incidents while 894 were subjected to sexual harassment last year.  The numbers of such incidents rose by 18.67 per cent and 30.32 per cent respectively compared to 2016.


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