I know its totally off topic but just could not resist the fact that this news is so SHOCKING.
New policy on cards to define child
Anyone below 18 to be considered a child
Adopting United Nations standards, the government is set to re-define the age of a child by raising it from 14 to 18 -- a move that would eventually outlaw employing an additional 1.3 million kids involved in labour.
The anticipated change to the national children policy would follow the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and attempts to bring an end to the confusion over what constitutes a minor.
According to 2003 study of Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), 3.2 million children aging between 5-17 years are involved with child labour for wage. Of them, 1.29 million children are involved in hazardous work, and the new policy would have direct impact upon them.
The policy would prohibit any physical punishment in educational institutions. It also aims at providing rights for ethnic, refugee, and disabled children.
In addition, the draft policy would require that every child born in Bangladesh be registered and given a right to claim the national identity.
“A human being below 18 will be given all the services that are meant for children,” said advocate Salma Ali, executive director of Bangladesh National Woman Lawyers' Association, which offers legal advice to women and children.
She added the policy change would be “a step towards human development”.
The Ministry of Women and Children Affairs (MoWCA), which has prepared the draft policy, is now set to have a national-level consultation meeting early May. Afterwards, the ministry would forward the draft to the cabinet for approval, officials said. Approval of the policy would trigger review of different laws that define various ages of childhood.
The draft policy proposes gradual eradication of child labour from the country, but does not give any road map.
Aminul Islam, a child protection specialist of Unicef Bangladesh, observes the policy should indicate a time bound working plan in this regard, devoid of which the policy would become vague on the issue of eradicating child labour.
“In a country like ours where many children are involved with child labour, are also vulnerable to risk of different sort of exploitation, drugs abuse, sexual harassments, trafficking and violence, but the draft policy hardly has any defined instruction in ensuring the security of the children,” says advocate Salma Ali.
Regarding the disabled children the policy says state shall take appropriate measures to identify and prevent disability among children and shall provide required assistance to the families with such kids.
Besides, institutional programmes will be adapted for the health, education, training and rehabilitation of the children with disabilities.
Again, state would make special arrangements for the disabled children who cannot be brought to mainstream education for special requirements, says the policy.
On the positive side, the draft realises the rights of the children of ethnic minority underscoring importance of obtaining education in their mother languages.
The amended policy says on taking proactive measures to protect children from impact of emergency, disaster and climate change.
The policy has instructions on the rights of children in participation and holding opinion, education, health and entertainment, and it also provides an individual section on the rights and development of adolescents.
But the draft policy left uncared for the right to education of working children and do not have suggestions for incorporating the non-formal education to the mainstream education.
Explaining why the government was updating the policy, Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, state minister for MoWCA, told The Daily Star, “Since 1994 when the first children policy was formulated, the society has undergone enormous changes bringing new issues that need to be addressed. At the same time the need for development has increased manifold -- making it very necessary for us to update the policy.”
This is supposed to be posted under Miscellaneous Topics section...
Sorry for posting in wrong section. My bad. Really sorry. But people what do you say about it? Strikes anything?
lolzz...we need more brains in the ministry..................
why is it shocking ? i dont understand.
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