Save the Children leads launch of ‘Snapshot of Success’ report to celebrate 25th anniversary of UNCRC

Thursday 20 November 2014

Save the Children leads launch of ‘Snapshot of Success’ report to celebrate 25th anniversary of UNCRC

20 November, 2014

Dhaka, Bangladesh – “Child rights must be part of the sustainable development agenda,” said Mr Mizanur Rahman, Chair of the National Human Rights Commission, at the 25th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child celebrations led by Save the Children and the Child Rights Advocacy Coalition in Bangladesh. Today at the Multipurpose Hall of the BIAM Foundation was the launching of the Coalition’s report '25 Years of the CRC in Bangladesh: Snapshot of Success’. The launch was the culmination of a series of events to commemorate this milestone in Bangladesh run by the Coalition, whose members are Ain O Salish Kendra, Action Aid Bangladesh, Child Rights Governance Assembly, Education and Development Foundation, National Girl Child Advocacy Forum, Plan International, Terre Des Homes- Netherlands and World Vision Bangladesh.

In attendance were Chief Guests Honourable Minister for Information Mr Hasanul Haque Inu MP, Mr Mir Showkat Ali Badsha, Chair of the Parliamentary Caucus on Child Rights and Chair of the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Livestock, Mr Mizanur Rahman, Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission and Mr Kazi Reazul Haque, full time member on the National Human Rights Commission, Tahmina Begum, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs and Mr Mosharraf Hossain, Director of the Bangladesh Shishu Academy. The Country Director of Action Aid Bangladesh, Farah Kabir, Acting Country Director of Save the Children in Bangladesh, Sharon Hauser, and Deputy Country Director of Plan International Bangladesh, Soumya Brata Guha, as well as members from different media were also present.

The Convention recognized for the first time that all children – regardless of sex, ethnicity, nationality, religion or ability – have their own unique and innate set of rights, which must be protected and promoted. The Coalition is guided by these principles and the Convention in its work to advocate for the rights of all children in Bangladesh to be better realised. On the 25th anniversary of the Convention, the Coalition took the opportunity to reflect on the progress made in child rights in this country, as well as consider the challenges that persist and make some recommendations for the way forward. It has recorded this in the report ’25 Years of the CRC in Bangladesh: Snapshot of Success’.

Bangladesh was one of the first two countries to sign the Convention, in August 1990. This shows its early commitment to child rights. Two decades later, it continues to demonstrate this, especially in the areas of health and education. Many more children under five years of age survive and develop healthily today than ever before. Now, almost every single girl and boy also enjoys their right to an education, especially at the primary level.

However, children in Bangladesh continue to face a range of deprivations. In particular, reducing child marriage remains a serious challenge. As the Honourable Minister of Information, Mr Hasanul Haque Inu said, “Special attention is needed for the girl child to ensure she enjoys her full set of rights.” Mr Reazul Haque, full time member on the National Human Rights Commission agreed, adding that, “All the progress that Bangladesh has made would be in vain if we lower the marriageable age for children.”

Going forward, Save the Children and the Coalition will continue to advocate for even better implementation of the Convention in Bangladesh. This includes setting up a child division and children’s ombudsperson. This was supported by Ms Tahmina Begum, Joint Secretary of MoWCA, who said that, “A separate Child Directorate is needed for the children, and the Government of Bangladesh has already initiated the process for this. Mr Mir Showkat Ali Badsha, Chair of the Parliamentary Caucus on Child Rights, confirmed this in his speech. He added that this and other issues facing children in Bangladesh, such as child marriage, as well as this 25th anniversary of the Convention, were going to be placed in today’s parliamentary session.

As Bangladesh advances towards becoming a middle-income country in line with its “Vision 2021”, the challenge will be to ensure that its strong economic growth translates into inclusive growth, so that all children – especially those from indigenous, marginalized and poor communities – are included in national programmes for their benefit. As Sharon Hauser, Acting Country Director, Save the Children said in her speech, “Let’s hope that the next 25 years brings even more hope and prosperity for Bangladeshi children.”

For more information on “CRC@25” activities, including specific achievements in Bangladesh and links to other useful resources, see our website dedicated to this milestone – www.crc25.scibd.info