Some children themselves have spoken to officials at the administrative level about the situation of child rights during the pandemic.
They have mentioned the overall situation of children, health and education, protection, family and social rights, including ways to overcome problems and difficulties specific to this pandemic.
At the conference room of the Deputy Commissioner’s Office on Johnson Road in Dhaka, 20 children from the Children’s Forum of ‘Shishuder Jonno’ living in Rayerbazar and Chand Udyan areas talked to Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Shahidul Islam for about two hours about the problems of disadvantaged children in the area and the capital.
The meeting was organized under the auspices of Save the Children in Bangladesh’s project ‘Shishuder Jonno’ (SJ) and Manabik Shahajya Shangstha (MSS), said Save the Children in Bangladesh.
According to the children present there, the educational institutions have been closed for nine months and the children are turning away from formal education.
They believe that children can return to school if adequate measures are taken to ensure all safety, said a media release.
Classes on modern devices using the Internet are expensive enough to carry for disadvantaged children, even for many schools, which will increase the number of children dropping out of school.
The issue of auto-promotion in HSC also came up.
The children mentioned that the merit of the students was not properly assessed as a result of giving auto pass.
They fear that child marriage has also increased in this pandemic situation.
In the Chand Udyan area of Rayerbazar, children have been used in drug trafficking for a long time, which is still happening.
The children have urged to the govt. about cracking down on the drug trade.
Parents are losing their jobs due to the pandemic and sending their children to work, which has resulted in an increase in child labor.
According to them, more than 17 child marriages have taken place in the area during Civid-19, out of which 7 have been closed through children’s forums.
The children recommended that government hotlines be made stronger and more effective.
Most of the playgrounds in the capital are used for construction work and even the playgrounds which are empty are not suitable for playing most of the time.
The children requested the deputy commissioner to pay special attention to this.
The Deputy Commissioner mentioned that the discussions with the children have been very fruitful in overcoming and resolving the problems that have arisen during the pandemic.
He promised to provide assistance to disadvantaged children. He thinks it is important to convey the current reality to other quarters of the government for which advocacy has to be done, lobbyists have to be appointed.
“I will definitely work to ensure that children’s recommendations are included in government policies,” he said.
Fatema Johra, Deputy Director, Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs, Rashida Begum, District Children’s Affairs Officer, Shishu Academy and Abu Jafar, from Save the Children in Bangladesh were also present on the program.
Source: United News of Bangladesh