Bangladesh is one of the first countries that ratified the convention of child rights immediate after opening for signature on 26 January 1990. The Convention stipulates, among other things, that every child has their right to life, and that states shall ensure the maximum child survival and development; that every child has the right to a name and nationality from birth; and that when courts, welfare institutions or administrative authorities deal with children, the child’s best interests shall be a primary consideration. Furthermore, States shall ensure that each child enjoys full rights without discrimination or distinction of any kind, and shall ensure that children should not be separated from their parents, unless by competent authorities for their well-being. In addition, States shall facilitate reunification of families by permitting travel into, or out of, their territories; and States shall protect children from physical or mental harm and neglect, including sexual abuse or exploitation. Also according to the Convention, disabled children shall have the right to special treatment, education and care; primary education shall be free and compulsory and discipline in school should respect the child’s dignity; capital punishment or life imprisonment shall not be imposed for crimes committed before the age of 18; no child under 15 should take any part in hostilities and children exposed to armed conflict shall receive special protection; and children of minority and indigenous populations shall freely enjoy their own cultures, religions and languages. The UN definition of a child is limited to l8 years old. Ratification and importance to this in real life situation in Bangladesh where about 35% of total population are children need special attention being the fact of issues on child labor, abuse, violence, trafficking and so many other rights of children. Palli Bangla Unnayan Shohojogita Sangstha founded in 2000 has been working to address the issues of disadvantaged and deprived people including children through many projects and programs. Palli Bangla Unnayan Shohojogita Sangstha has set out policy for common values, principles and beliefs to meet our organizational commitment to protect children and work for their rights and entitlements. Some clauses of Palli Bangla Unnayan Shohojogita Sangstha explicitly states that the organization will Initiate and implement projects with special emphasis on:
Palli Bangla Unnayan Shohojogita Sangstha has developed this policy document to ensure protection of children from any social, physical, mental exploitation, abuse and negligence rather to complement in their potential growth and participation in Palli Bangla Unnayan Shohojogita Sangstha’s child friendly program enabling to raise their voice on their issues. Palli Bangla Unnayan Shohojogita Sangstha will use this policy document as an organizational strategic instrument in planning, designing, organizing, involving, monitoring, evaluating and managing any kind program and institutional initiatives where children are part of it.
Bangladesh is land of NGOs working at grassroots level to address issues of women and men including children and thus contribute to this nation. Moreover, these NGOs analyze different issues and facts and work in collective manner for policy advocacy at national level. Palli Bangla Unnayan Shohojogita Sangstha being one of the NGO has been working on children issues at micro and macro level.
Palli Bangla Unnayan Shohojogita Sangstha has been developing various programs and projects on children issues and implementation of those projects have involvement of children. The organization needs policy guidelines in order to design and implement those programs and projects to ensure children rights and entitlements.
In many projects children participation has been mandated in implementation process, which demands clear policy and guideline to determine that such participation cannot be defined as child labor and contradiction to their potential growth.
Children mobility and involvement in community base activity is another crucial element to child rights. Therefore, Palli Bangla Unnayan Shohojogita Sangstha needs policy guidelines for their mobility within and outside of their community and participation in community mobilization and sensitization with certain level.
The organization’s staff maintains contact with children and their parents during various programs and events when communication and dealing with children needs special attention because of children age, risk of abuse, behavior pattern and local culture. The organization should have policy guideline, which could be followed by staff to communicate and deal with the children and their parents.
The organization has many events and various contacts with children ensuring image of the organization. Staff on behalf of the organization is responsible to maintain such image ensuring that the organization’s capabilities and clear understanding about child sensitive issues. The staff needs to be oriented and aware about their roles and responsibilities, which could be defined through code of conduct enabling to behave and deal with children complying with organizational policy and guideline.
The children need special attention during any disaster happens in the community. More over their protection and security from abuse is important while they stay at any emergency shelter centers. Policy and guidelines are necessary to support children for survival and protection of children during disaster.
Palli Bangla Unnayan Shohojogita Sangstha implements and manages many programs in partnership with many national and international organizations while child protection policy is referred as an essential element in the partnership agreement particularly with child focused organizations like Plan, Save the children and guideline will be a strategic document to complement in such partnership agreement.
Palli Bangla Unnayan Shohojogita Sangstha has gained experiences in programs and projects implementation on children issues for their development and entitlement to complement in different articles of child rights.
Some significant projects are:
Palli Bangla Unnayan Shohojogita Sangstha has addressed issues on child labor, health, education, protection, rehabilitation and gained many experiences, learnt lessons, which have been considered and taken under policy guideline so that organization equally can become competent in policy, dialogue with other national and international organizations.
The guiding principles of the CRC are: non-discrimination by race, sex religion, origin, and economic status etc. (Article 2); and the right to life, survival and development (Article 6). The first article refers to all children having the same right to develop their potential. In order to ensure observation of the latter, it is fundamental to guarantee.
Respect for the opinion and participation of children (Article) establishes that the ideas and points of view of children must be respected. Also, children must participate in decision- making on those questions, which affect them, in accordance with their age.
The CRC has had great influence owing to its character: universal, it covers all children, in all situations and in all countries; unconditional, it calls on even the poorest countries to protect the rights of the child; and integrated, as all rights are essential, indivisible, interdependent and shared by all.
Another important aspect of the CRC is its extent, as it covers civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, It guarantees the right to life (Article 6), to freedom of thought, conscience and religion (Articles 13 and 14) to health (Article 24), to a level of life permitting self- development (Article 27) and to recreation play and cultural activities (Article 31).
In order to ensure that States fulfill all these rights, the Convention established the creation of the Child Rights Committee. All the States, which approved the CRC, are obliged to present periodical reports. So as to ensure their objectivity, the 10 members of the committee work totally independently from their respective governments.
Palli Bangla Unnayan Shohojogita Sangstha envisions a world where justice, respects, dignity prevail for all. For that, the policy sets out how to work to achieve this in practice and protecting children both from intentional and unintentional harm and behavior.
This policy document applies to develop an organizational culture, practices, staff behavior, management, program development, partnership and implementation that enable child protection and development with their rights and entitlements.
During humanitarian emergencies many of the rights of children are regularly compromised and violated. Children are the most vulnerable victims of any humanitarian crisis.
Environment disaster such as floods, hurricanes, Tsunami & earthquakes increasingly caused wide spread destruction, especially in areas where overcrowding and poverty area already endemic.
Looking at children’s protection needs during floods and plan accordingly to meet those needs. Following are few exemplar measures:
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