A group of lawyers and child rights groups at two programmes on Wednesday urged all political parties to stop using children in political activities. The Bangladesh National Women Lawyers’ Association held a press conference on ‘Using Children in Political Activities, Violence News with Videos and Pictures in Media and Negative Impact on Child Development’ at the National Press Club. Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum and Child Rights Governance Assembly held a human chain at in front of national assembly complex urging an end to the use of children in political activities. Lawyers at the press conference requested print and electronic media not to publish such videos and pictures that could traumatize people, especially children. The BNWLA executive director, Salma Ali, said that according to the UN Convention on the Rights of Child, the National Child Policy 2010 and the Draft Child Act 2012 all are children till the age of 18. Salma Ali urged political parties not to use children for political gains and ensure that children are protected from all possible violence. Women right activists said that Bangladesh being a signatory to the UNCRC needs to protect children from all forms of physical or mental violence. Salma Ali criticised Hefajat-e-Islam leaders as they fled on May 5 leaving children amidst violence while psychologists alleged most of the madrassa students who participated in the demonstrations on that day were vulnerable to mental trauma. She said that paragraph 6.7.4 of the National Children’s Policy clearly mentions that children cannot be used in political activities. They could neither be tempted nor compelled to get involved in such activities. Former caretaker government adviser Sultana Kamal, also a rights activist, while attending the human chain, protested at the use of children in political programmes. She said that children were forced or lured into joining join political programmes. The Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum president, Emranul Haque Chowdhury, also spoke at the human chain.
Published By: The Daily New Age
Published Date: 16 May 2013
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