“Children never stop needing their mommies; children never stop needing their daddies”. The child is father of an adult. The child is an abridged adult with rights which cannot be abridged. The Child is a person for all practical purposes. The child observes, thinks and imitates or reacts to happenings around. The child is a person. Either at home or school, the child is subjected to disciplinary practices while, child should be part of those processes. If the indiscipline of the child could be complained, ascertained and responded to, then where is the way to find and establish the indiscipline of the adults? The discipline is not taught, it is learnt. The text books give information. The communication through teaching is imparting education. To attain wisdom, an abundant amount of common sense has to be added to education, which then includes discipline. Discipline is an attitude, character, responsibility or commitment. The discipline is basically internal, while the attempt to impose it would be an external process. One has to internalize the process of education and discipline. Discipline and education go together in letter and spirit.
The Child’s education is mostly from observation and imitation. Their participation depends upon their developing capacity, which again depends upon the surroundings and family. Information is a prelude of participation. If child does not have sufficient information he cannot effectively participate. Such participation should be meaningful. One has to talk in terms of chances rather than rights as the child does not and cannot know how to participate. Without participation the discipline within him will not develop. Right to drive, he may have. But a chance to drive, he may not get. It may be like giving a discourse in driving without putting him in driver’s seat.
The present study is on the contribution of voluntary organizations in the protection of human rights’ of children. Ostrander (1985), considering the existing formulations of the voluntary welfare sector as problematic and its relationship to the welfare state as lacking clarity, proposes a new formulation basing on in-depth study of three established organizations. His Formulation suggests that the voluntary sector can continue to reform the welfare functions of the state – for example, to democratizing and decentralizing state welfare services, and to building cross-class political alliances in support of welfare services. He concluded that the voluntary sector is a base for reforming the welfare state in four ways –
(i) by specializing in specific programs,
(ii) Possessing the capacity for identifying community needs and providing for a substantial portion of local services,
(iii) In advocating for expanded state supported welfare services as they received sizable amounts of state funding to provide services and
(iv) For building cross- class political alliances in support of welfare state services. Women (1995) says that the current theory of voluntary organization has two dimensions –
(i) The problem of ‘dehumanization’ leads to alienation, atomization and free-floating of individuals and voluntary organization emerged as a response to this challenge taking over the functions of traditional institutions and
(ii) Today voluntary organizations are believed to be essential instruments of pluralism as they play a critical role in a democratic system by facilitating citizens’ influence on government. According to him, a general theory of voluntary organizations should take into account many more variables. He argues that the structure and functions of voluntary organizations will vary from society to society and at times within the same society as it undergoes transformation. “This may have something to do with the national Character or basic personality structure of the people under consideration”.
Finally he puts forward the following propositions:
- a) An urban-industrial-democratic society will mainly have two types of voluntary organizations, those catering to the emotional needs of the member (expressive type) and those which mediate between the state and the citizen or those which cater to economic interests;
- b) In an authoritarian political system, they are likely to be state-sponsored and will act as mere extensions of the central estate authority;
- c) A transitional society with a democratic polity is most likely to have voluntary organizations which combine expressive and instrumental functions.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES:
The main purpose of the thesis is to furnish a true and specific feature of the scenario of children rights in different countries. The study examines the situations and the problem of child rights and try to redress from this situation by implementation of a legal enforcement mechanism which shall be analyzed on the basis on how much of these measures have been effective in preventing the children rights relating problems in our local arena. The main aims and objects of this study are to collect the comprehensive, reliable and descriptive information about the situation of the violation of the children rights and the protective organs and their activities also. We can realize that the protection of child rights in different countries to raised awareness on this matter and to motivate the community against it. We can also identify the laws, policies and programs of the different organizations that are worked in connectivity with protection and care of the violation of children rights in all over the world.
For Example: Parents or teachers lie before children. A father wants his son to tell the caller by phone that he was not at home. You are teaching him that one should lie and also when and how and for what. It may be inevitable for you to tell a lie. Then explain the son why is opting to lie, why he should not lie otherwise etc. First do not allow him to handle your situation. He should be allowed to handle his own situations. The discipline starts with either lying or not. The necessary communication with child equips him with ability to participate. The character is communication. The Best character is the best communication. The companies build and reflect the character.
There are three benefits of communication.
- Message reaches successfully.
- Receiver knows and develops to receive the communication.
- Receivers also learn how to communicate.
Generally a negative experience and adverse conditions prevailing around will seriously influence a child and may make him similar person with similar character. But at the same time it may result in making child a positive person or a person with character diametrically opposite to what he has seen.
SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY:
The scope of this study is Limited to the available legal framework for analyzing the situation of the violation of the child rights and the protection of their rights in different countries. This study was conduct within a period of less then three months. The data and all other information gather and processed in this study should be appreciated within this given time frame.
AVAILABILITY OF MATERIALS:
To solemnizing this thesis paper the materials are collected from various resources like many books especially recommended books those are written by famous writers and the newsletters of the various organizations who are worked with this matter and the research paper which is made earlier in this matter on. The cable sources are also available regarding this matter.
CHILD & THEIR RIGHTS
Who is a Child?
Law makes a destination between a child and a adult This distinction is based primarily on the age of the child and the purpose of a particular law. Thus a person is child who is under 16 years of age. (The Children Act 1974). The Majority Act of 1875 describes a person to be a child below 18 years. According to Vagrancy Act 1943 a person below the age of 14 is a child. The Bengal Children Act 1922 (repealed) defined a child as a person who is below 14 years. In India the Orphanages and other Charitable Homes (Supervision and Control) Act 1960 gives a definition of a child. For this law child means a boy or girl who has not completed the age of 18 years. Again a child is differently described in the Children Act 1960 in India. According to this act a child means a boy who has not attained the age of 16 and a girl who has not attained the age of 18 years. In defining child in addition to age, gender is also taken into consideration. According to the Child Marriage Restraint Act 1929 a child is a person below the age of 21 in the case of a male while it is 18 for a female . Under Muslim law a child obtains majority when he attains puberty. A child is assumed to have attained puberty on the completion of 15 years. According to Hindu law, now in existence in Bangladesh a child attains majority after the completion of 15 years. The most agreed upon definition of a child based on age can be found in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children 1989. All persons below the age of 18 are unequivocally designated as children in this U.N. Convention of Children which is a ‘Magna Carta’ for the children.
Meaning of the Convention on the Rights of the Child:
The Convention on the Rights of the Child is an international treaty that recognizes the human rights of children, defined as persons up to the age of 18 years. In 41 substantive articles, it establishes in international law that States Parties must ensure that all children – without discrimination in any form – benefit from special protection measures and assistance; have access to services such as education and health care; can develop their personalities, abilities and talents to the fullest potential; grow up in an environment of happiness, love and understanding; and are informed about and participate in, achieving their rights in an accessible and active manner.
Categories of Child:
Children are categorized in different ways in law. A victimized child is one against whom an offence has been committed. When parents or guardians cannot control a child he is known as an uncontrollable child. There is also a category of child who is referred to as youthful offender i.e., child under 16 years of age found guilty of an offence. The neglected and destitute children are other categories found in children’s laws. The meaning of neglect is culture specific. However the neglect is the failure to exercise the care that the circumstances justly demand. It embraces willful as well as unintentional disregard of duty. It is not a term of fixed and measured meaning. It takes its context always from specific circumstances and its meaning varies as the Context surrounding circumstances change. The reference to destitute child along with neglect is not much seen in child welfare Laws. It is found in the Children Act, 1974 in Bangladesh. It may merely mean a child having no fixed abode, no resource to survive, no one to maintain and lacks supervision by responsible persons or authorities. The terms ‘child abuse’ hardly occur in Bangladesh laws relating to children. The concept is latent in the laws relating to children. The rights of abused child are yet to be recognized in Bangladesh laws in precise terms because its nature and meaning is hardly known to the people. Most of the families raise a number of children whom they cannot support properly. However in social policy literature the concept of child abuse is found. It consists of treatment that is harmful to the health and safety of the child. An abandoned child is a child who is deserted, unclaimed or born out of wedlock.
Emotional consequences of unilateral disciplining processes
Neither the religion nor the parenthood provided any legal authority physically injure the children for their so called indiscipline1 and to enforce morality and character. Punishment may deter a child from repeating act of indiscipline to some extent, but it cannot improve his understanding of the subject or make him intelligent ‘more1 than ‘his standard1 earlier to the corporal punishment. Resorting to scolding and reprimanding students as a prelude to inflict punishment is common at homes and schools and excess of which always bring in civil or criminal liability. Some of the countries specifically banned the corporal punishment of children as it crossed the limits and assumed brutal propositions.
However, law basically does not agree with any excessive punishment to beings, which would be definitely a violation of personal right. The research studies show that the theory of corporal punishment was an ineffective discipline strategy with children of all ages and it is often proved to be dangerous. The punishment of such kind leads to create anger, resentment and low self-esteem. It teaches them violence and revenge as solutions to problems and perpetuates itself, as children might imitate what the adults are doing this study revealed that the children whose parents use corporal punishment to control antisocial behavior show more antisocial behavior themselves over a long period of time. This is regardless of race, socio-economic status and regardless of whether the mother provides cognitive stimulation and emotional support. A consistent pattern of physical abuse exists that generally start as corporal punishment and then gets out of control. As the child grows, the depression or violence in them gradually develops.
If persons are more hit during their childhood, it is more likely that when they reach the adulthood, they hit their children, spouses or friends. A frequently hit child will be a problematic person tomorrow. There another serious consequence, the probability of children assaulting the parent in retaliation also will increase with the corporal punishment. The same attitude may reflect in the schools against the teachers also. Besides attitudinal change there may be psychological disadvantages also. The children might begin to believe that it is good to use violence. All these changes lead to breaking of relationship. Ultimately it all. leads to erosion of trust between teacher and a child or a parent and a child. Another dimension is it will result in increased risk of child abuse as a disciplinary measure and poor performance on school tasks compared to other children. The unilateral process of penal disciplining the children either at home or at school will lead to three kinds of reactions. FEAR, HATRED & ANGER. These three will contribute adversely and in the long run, children are molded into complex personalities. If a child is battered or bullied for talking, his anger may make him an introvert, probably a thinker with less initiative, and to withdraw from groups and companies and can be branded as shy person. If his reaction is hatred, he starts hating school and society. If the anger is the reaction, an angry young man will take birth. If he suffers most without these feelings, which very rarely happens, that child may develop a commitment not brow beat any body in his life time.
PROTECTION OF RIGHTS BY THE CONVENTION
The implementation of the Human Rights Act 1998, interest in the concept of children’s rights has grown significantly since the first edition of this work was published. Now in its second edition, Children’s Rights and the Developing Law explores the way developing law and policy in England and Wales are simultaneously promoting and undermining the rights of children. It reflects on the extent to which these developments take account of children’s interests, using a range of current research on children’s needs as a template against which to assess their value. A critical approach is maintained throughout the work, particularly when assessing the extent to which the concept of children’s rights is being developed by the domestic courts and the degree to which the UK is complying with its obligations to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Wide reaching in its scope, the work starts with the theoretical perspectives of the concept of children’s rights and the extent to which international activity in the field of human rights can be utilized to inform domestic law.
UNICEF and the Convention:
The Secretary-General of the United Nations has called for the mainstreaming of human rights in all areas of UN operations — for example, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in its mandate for refugee children, or the International Labor Organization (ILO) in its commitment to eliminate child labor. In the case of UNICEF, the Convention has become more than just a reference, but a systematic guide to the work of the organization. As expressed in its Mission Statement, UNICEF is mandated to “advocate for the protection of children’s rights” and it “strives to establish children’s rights as enduring ethical principles and international standards of behavior towards children .”
UNICEF promotes the principles and provisions of the Convention and the mainstreaming of children’s rights in a systematic manner, in its advocacy, programming, monitoring and evaluation activities. The Convention on the Rights of the Child provides UNICEF with guidance as to the areas to be assessed and addressed, and it is a tool against which UNICEF measures the progress achieved in those areas. Integrating a human rights approach in all UNICEF’s work is an ongoing learning process that includes broadening the framework for UNICEFs development agenda. In addition to maintaining a focus on child survival and development, UNICEF must consider the situation of all children, better analyze the economic and social environment, develop partnerships to strengthen the response (including the participation of children themselves), and support interventions on the basis of non-discrimination and act in the best interests of the child.
Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Committee on the Rights of the Child encourage government to undertake steps:
Through its reviews of country reports, the Committee urges all levels of government to use the Convention as a guide in policy-making and implementation to:
- Develop a comprehensive national agenda for children.
- Develop permanent bodies or mechanisms to promote coordination, monitoring and evaluation of activities throughout all sectors of government.
- Ensure that all legislation is fully compatible with the Convention.
- Make children visible in policy development processes throughout government by introducing child impact assessments.
- Carry out adequate budget analysis to determine the portion of public funds spent on children and to ensure that these resources are being used effectively.
- Ensure that sufficient data are collected and used to improve the plight of all children in each jurisdiction.
- Raise awareness and disseminate information on the Convention by providing training to all those involved in government policy-making and working with or for children.
- Involve civil society – including children themselves – in the process of implementing and raising awareness of child rights.
- Set up independent statutory offices – ombudspersons, commissions and other institutions – to promote children’s rights.
UNICEF assists governments in promoting children’s rights of country program:
UNICEF’s work involves advocacy, cooperation and technical assistance. UNICEF undertakes advocacy through publications, awareness campaigns and participation in major international conferences and in public statements – and works with those responsible for the development and implementation of legislation and public policy. UNICEF cooperates with
both donor governments and governments in the developing world. UNICEF-assisted programmers seek to ensure the social and economic rights of children by delivering essential services such as health and education and improving access to good nutrition and to care. UNICEF also focuses attention on national budget spending, encouraging governments to allocate 20 per cent of budgets to basic services. Further, UNICEF supports efforts to redress inequitable practices and discrimination, which are direct and underlying causes of children’s and women’s deprivation. UNICEF cooperates with other international organizations – particularly those within the UN system, as the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) process illustrates – and international financial institutions. UNICEF works to build partnerships with civil society organizations, involving children, families and other members of communities. UNICEF provides technical support and assistance to the Committee on the Rights of the Child. UNICEF focuses on sustainable results and encourages ongoing monitoring and evaluation of programmers 4
Juvenile Justice Act, 2000:
Juvenile Justice Act, 2000″ provides punishment for cruelty to juvenile or child. Whoever, having the actual charge of or control over, a juvenile or the child, assaults, abandons, exposes or willfully neglects the juvenile or causes or procures him to be assaulted, abandoned, exposed or neglected in a manner likely to cause such juvenile or the child unnecessarily mental or physical suffering shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or fine, or with both 5. This section has no exceptions to exempt parents or teachers. Though it is intended to punish cruelty by those in authority, it equally applies to parents and teachers also. The whole purpose of the Juvenile Justice Act 2000 is to translate the objectives and rights enshrined in Convention on Child Rights which include separation of juveniles in conflict with law from ordinary judicial proceedings to avoid corporal punishment.
Juvenile Justice Act of India and Bangladesh Children’s Act 1974 created an offence of cruelty to children, which covers parents and guardians and teachers also. Juvenile Justice Act does not authorize corporate punishment including whipping, while Bangladesh Act permitted whipping male child offender.
PROTECTION OF RIGHTS BY VOLUNTARY ORGANIZATION:
A voluntary organization is to be registered under the above mentioned Ordinance of 1961 with either the Department of Social Services under the Ministry of Social Welfare or the Department of Women’s and Children’s Affairs. These organizations are recognized under the law to submit the accounts of their funds and annual activities. The delinquent voluntary organizations can be prosecuted on the basis of written complaints of the Department of Social Services. It may be mentioned here that the authors of the 1961 Ordinance failed to visualize any foreign donations to these voluntary organizations from abroad primarily to regulate the receipts and expenditure of foreign donations for the voluntary activities in the country. A number of organizations are working in the prevention of blindness, treatment of the blind and the rehabilitation of the blind children. Societies like the Assistance for Blind Children, National Federation of the blind, etc. Are functioning for the training and rehabilitation of the blind adults and children. A few voluntary organizations are working for the vocational training of the blind. Bangladesh Deaf and Dumb Association have been running deaf and dumb schools throughout the country. Bangladesh Society for the Mentally Retarded Children has been treating and training mentally retarded children. A few organizations are also working for the correction and rehabilitation of the juvenile delinquents. From the above discussion it can be asserted that a good number of voluntary organizations are conducting variegated welfare programs to protect the rights and interest of our children. Bangladesh is committed to honor and implement all UN Declarations, Covenants and Conventions on human rights. Constitution seeks to ensure the protection and enforcement of all types of human rights for all categories of persons 6. Similarly, Chapter two, especially contains the fundamental Principles of State Policy which are meant to preserve human rights and fundamental freedoms 7
A voluntary organization has been defined in the Voluntary Social Welfare Agencies (Registration and Control) Ordinance. 1961 as an organization, association or undertaking established by persons of their own free will for the purpose of providing welfare services in any field mentioned in the schedule of the relevant social legislation and depending for its resources on public subscription, donation or Government aid. The schedule of activities mentions as many as fifteen spheres of activities for mitigating the suffering of the different categories of needy people such as the poor and the indigent, child, youth, women, physically, socially and mentally handicapped, released prisoners, juvenile delinquents the aged, the infirm and the destitute. Human rights issues of children: issues related to their life, education, health and health services, to enjoy their own culture, protection from abuse and negligence, protection from exploitation, protection from risk of drug addiction, delinquency and other unwholesome situations 8.
These issues are also elaborated in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) and other UN Declarations. Prior to the adoption of the CRC in 1952 the International Union for Child Welfare decided to observe a Children’s Day all over the world with a view to raising awareness among the people about their responsibilities towards the children. Since 1953, the first Monday of October every year is being observed as the World’s Children’s Day. Two other human rights Declarations in relation to the protection of children’s rights are: The Declarations of Geneva or the Declaration of the Rights of the Child adopted in 1924 by the League of Nations and the Declarations of the Rights of the Child in 1959. A child has the inherent rights to life and the State Patties shall ensure the survival and development of the child. A child shall not be separated from his or her parents against his or her will. States shall take measures to combat illegal transfer of children abroad. The child has the right to freedom of speech, thought, conscience, religion, association and peaceful assembly. The child refugee shall receive appropriate protection. A mentally or physically disabled will have the right to enjoy a decent life. State parties recognize the right of every child to a standard of life which is adequate for his or her physical, mental and social development. A child has the right to education which is directed to develop his or her personality, talent, and mental) physical abilities. A child has the right to rest and recreational activities. They have the right to be protected from economic exploitation. They shall be protected from armed conflict. Encompassing the whole range of human rights – civil, political, economic, social and cultural -the Convention recognize that their enjoyment of a given right cannot be separated from the enjoyment of others. It demonstrates that the freedom a child needs to develop his or her intellectual, moral and spiritual capacities is dependent on a healthy and safe environment, access to care and minimum standards of food, clothing and shelter among other things.
CHILDREN’S RIGHT TO CARE AND PROTECTION
“The rights of every child to a standard of living adequate for the child’s physical, mental, spiritual, moral, and social development”
In our country the family attends to care and protection of the children. In the extended family, the duties and responsibilities of parents are shared by other members of the family. The well-being and welfare of the children is a matter of general concern. The child gets love, affection, security and sense of belonging in the framework of the family. While the extended family systems are still prevalent in rural areas to some extent, it is weakening and disintegrating in urban areas and even in rural areas under the pressure of changes. Everything needed by the child could be provided by the family or the local community which was integrated. But with urbanization, industrialization, progress in communication, changes in the economic, political and educational arenas, the families as well as the community became unable in respect of resources, knowledge and experience to give all that a child needs for proper growth and development. Life has become more complex and strains on the family have become more severe today. The family is surrendering many of its child-rearing functions to other institution. It is the birth right of a child to be born to parents who love and care for him, to live with his family in a home that protects him and provides for his growth and development. Parents have also the right and responsibility to provide care, protection arid guidance to children. Family plays the key role in sharing the environment in such a way that the child utilizes all the available opportunities for realizing his latent potentialities through guidance, regulation, selection and inhibition. It is the family which protects him from the outside evil by manipulating the environment. The family feeds the child, provides him with shelter, clothes, and schooling. Home is the child’s first school. There is no substitute for the child’s own house. So Institutional care is not a substitute but is desirable only in the absence of home and normal family. Institutional care is prescribed for children who are deprived of normal home care because of divorce, death of parents, desertion or extreme cruelty. The main objective of the orphanage is to give educative treatment for development of healthy personality and adjustment. It offers a setting which combines social control, protection, reeducation and rehabilitation. It is to be remembered that the orphan has Come to this institution not by choice, but under compulsion. But he needs to have a feeling of belonging, love, affection and acceptance. The service of an institution has to be developed in the lights of the needs of the children. The care and protection of the destitute children in orphanages dates back the great holocaust of this country the Bengal famine of 1943 which necessitated the passage of Orphanages and Widow’s Homes Act, 1944. The Act was a reflection of the social situation that prevailed during the post famine period. The Act was enacted for the purpose of supervision and control of the functions of the Orphanages, widow’s home and marriage bureaus that came into existence following that famine. The necessity for bringing this Act into existence was expressed in the words of a distinguished Woman member of then Bengal Legislative Assembly: “For some time there had been some public agitation regarding traffic in destitute women and girls as a result of the famine. An expert survey which was conducted recently has discovered that as a result of distress and destitution there had been more deaths among adult males than adult females. This means that large number of women have lost their husbands, parents or guardians. It is therefore natural to apprehend that these women will fall an easy prey to social vices and may therefore fall into hands of designing persons who may trade on these helpless women. There are in existence a good number of institutions which carry on clandestine traffic in women and girls.
They manage to evade detection as their nefarious activities are conducted under the cover of institutions so camouflaged as to give an appearance of social and philanthropic establishment 10
According to this Act no person can open or carry on an orphanage, a widows’ home or marriage bureau without license. An orphanage, under this Act, refers to an institution where orphans are kept or intended to be kept and an orphan designates a boy or girl less than 18 years of age who has lost his or her father or has been abandoned by his or her parents or guardians. The District Magistrate (Deputy Commissioner) on an application in a prescribed form may grant a license for the opening of 01 carrying on an orphanage. However, he may refuse to issue license to such an institution unless it has been registered as a society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, and the members of such a society are respectable persons of the locality. Again, he may refuse to grant license if he is satisfied that it is not situated in a healthy locality and the accommodation in it is Insufficient. The same authority or an officer authorized by him may inspect the day- to-day functioning of such an institution at any time by day or night. The authority has been invested with the power to suspend or cancel an institution under this Act if the institution is not registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 or located in an unhealthy locality or the accommodation in it is insufficient. The authority may also impose penalty in case it violates the provision of this Act.
This religious approach is also reflected in the objectives of all the orphanages under investigation. Through imparting both elementary basic education and religious instructions, these institutions seek to afford opportunities to the orphans of becoming ideal Muslims and men of good character. Only two orphanages expressed the desire to make the inmates self reliant through providing vocational training. Three orphanages sought to provide opportunities of games and sports and recreational facilities in order to help the inmates develop themselves into healthy people.
RIGHT TO HEALTH CARE
“The right of the child to enjoyment of the highest standard of health”
Child health is the mirror of the health status of a nation. One can easily see the health status of a country through the child health of that country. In fact our child health status is almost similar to that of other developing countries of South Asia, Overpopulation, poverty, illiteracy, unemployment and superstition of the people are creating obstacles in the way to achieve desirable child health status of our country. A significant percentage survived with residual morbidity but we had no facilities for continuing care. There was obviously a need to take the health services nearer to the people and away from the teaching and general hospitals, whose atmosphere tended to alienate ordinary citizens.
Bangladesh is an overpopulated country with about 52 percent of the population below 16 years of age and about 18 percent bellow 5 years. Most of our child population grows up in the midst of the scourges mentioned in the beginning of this chapter. Under-S mortality constitutes about half of all deaths in the country. The important causes of neonatal mortality are birth asphyxia, birth trauma, low birth weight, neonatal tetanus and neonatal septicemia. The neonatal mortality accounts for 60 percent of deaths in infancy. Most of the delivery is conducted by traditional dais. About 30-5O percent of newborn babies are low birth weight reflecting poor maternal nutrition and heath care status of the country. In fact, low birth weight is the best indicator of malnutrition. Birth weight below 2.5 kg. are found to be closely associated with poverty not only during infancy but also throughout childhood. It -indicates that the infant was malnourished in the mother’s womb or the mother was malnourished during her own infancy. Furthermore, analysis of data sets collected through the Nutritional Surveillance Programmer (NSP) reveals new dimensions in gender disparity. The same assertions could also be made with regard to the child health status of Bangladesh. In Bangladesh child malnutrition, morbidity and mortality can be attributed to unsafe water, poor sanitation and unhygienic conditions. PEM is the outcome of complex biological and social processes. Household food insecurity, inadequate earning practices and access to basic health services, together with an unhealthy environment are the underlying causes of inadequate dietary intake and disease resulting in malnutrition. In other words, food, health and care are the necessary conditions of good nutrition. None of them alone is sufficient. The fulfillment of each of these conditions necessitates the deployment of human, economic and organizational resources. Disease is an important cause of young child’s malnutrition since it decreases appetite for food, calories are lost for fighting infection and nutrients are drained away in vomiting and diarrhea. Therefore, an attack on child’s growth causes nutrition reserves to fall. Inadequate earning practices are not less important than food and health. Caring practices can be divided into
(I) feeding practices;
(2) hygiene practices;
(3) home health care practices; and
(4) psychosocial practices that include responsiveness and stimulation.
Care of the mother is equally important as they are the principal providers of child care. She can hardly be expected to provide needed care if she herself is poor and oppressed, illiterate, uninformed, anemic and unhealthy, lives in slum or shanty place, has neither clean water nor safe sanitation, and if she is without needed support from spouse, family or from the health services.
According to Article 24 of the convention on the Rights of the child, state parties recognize the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest standard of heath and to facilitate the treatment of illness and rehabilitation of health. The Article emphasizes that state parties shall pursue full implementation of this right and in particular shall take appropriate measures, among others, to combat disease and malnutrition including the framework of primary health care, and to ensure that all segments of society, in particular parents and children, have access to education and are supported in the use of knowledge or child health and nutrition, the advantages of breast feeding, hygiene and environmental sanitation and the prevention of accidents.The voluntary organizations seem to have been performing well in protecting the health care right of children and their families by delivering the services quite effectively. The findings warrant the necessity to strengthen the ability of those organizations by allocating more national as well as outside resources to enable them serve larger clientele groups than they are reaching at present.
CHAPTER – VI
CHILDREN’S RIGHT TO BE LITERATE
Right of the child to education
The provision of basic education for the children has been a major concern for this country. The progress and prosperity of a nation rests first and foremost upon a literate manpower. Unless the intrinsic potentialities and capabilities of a literate manpower are employed the country can not develop socio-economically A literate people are an economic capital to the entire nation but if they remain unlettered, they become a sheer liability. That is the reason why Mahatma Gandhi considered mass illiteracy as a national shame and advocated for its complete eradication on war footing. So in order to build a better Bangladesh the primary task must be to build its huge human resource base through improving children’s education and literacy skills.
In view of the national importance of literacy, we have given weight age to the development of primary education in our constitution as one of the fundamental principles of state policy (Article 17). It has been stated in the Constitution that the state shall adopt effective measures for the purpose of establishing a uniform, mass-oriented and universal system of education and extending free and compulsory education to all children irrespective of caste, creed and religion to such stage as may be determined by law, relating education to the needs of society and providing properly trained and motivated citizens to serve those needs and removing illiteracy within such time as may be determined by law.
A parent often gains the impression that the child, over a period of one or more years, seems to be learning nothing. That is the stage when a less motivated parent accepts withdrawal. Scant teacher attention, more reprimands than encouragement, lack of learning material and original recreation and poor physical facilities may be considered as push factors in dropout. On the other hand, if the schooling was good and parents discover that the child is learning to read and pick up interesting things, many of the parents would be prepared to undergo further sacrifices (including work adjustment) to retain him there.
According to Article 28 of the Convention on the Right of the Child, state parties, in recognition of the right of the child to be literate, have agreed to provide at least all available facilities of free and compulsory basic elementary education to all children irrespective of caste, creed and religion and to remove illiteracy ‘from their societies. The UNICEF’s ‘First Call’ for children designates the child’s right to be literate as development rights which includes the right to education, play and leisure, cultural activities as well as access to information, and freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
Voluntary organizations are meeting one very important and basic social need human right of children. They are in effect carrying out a job which is the states sole statutory responsibility. The basic elementary education programmes are intended to inculcate self worth and responsible citizenship. Voluntary organizations which run education programmes for children have been categorized into two groups. The nonfunctional organizations are primarily performing this singular function although their coverage and areas of operation is limited. Some of the multifunctional organizations, on the other hand, are covering wider areas and benefiting large number of children. We can, therefore, say that the significance of education is gaining ground both among the leadership and the illiterate mass of people both in rural and urban areas. This is the reason why the programme organizers are making best use of locally available resources material and human to make the education programmer interesting and fruitful but less expensive.
CHAPTER – VII
RIGHTS OF THE CHILD LABOURER
Child labor is in fact a reality of our time. They work for their own survival and also for offering assistance to their families that are kind to be living in abject poverty. The issues relating to child labor have socio-economic causes that are by and large identical in all developing countries. Child labor is a tragic and silent emergency of our time. Like many other problems, child labor emerged out of the socio-economic conditions prevailing in our country. The low per capita income keeps the heads of families under stress. In such a situation parents in poor families normally avoid sending their children to schools. Instead, they engage them in different works in the home-based or in family farms. Most children (with their mothers) have always worked. Children in rural areas who worked usually did so on family land where fathers were small farmers or sharecroppers or where they came from artisan families, at family looms and potters wheels and so on. It was a hard life but at least it was in the context of a settled home environment. But with a rapidly growing population and increasing landlessness, the situation is changing for the worse. To the extent that families are being pushed off their land the situation of their children will deteriorate unless alternatives can be found.
Reports released in late 1996 by UNICEF and the International Labor Organization (ILO) draw attention to child prostitution as “one of the most intolerable forms of child labor13 In its most extreme manifestation, children are forced into sexual work through the practice of debt bondage, wherein a. young girl’s labor in a brothel is promised by an impoverished family for an unspecified amount of time in exchange for cash or credit. While the arrangement is allegedly intended to last only until the debt is paid, repayment is frequently impossible, given the typically limited earning potential of debtors and the illicit and often deceptive practices of lenders (such as excessively high interest rates and additional charges and fines for work-related expenses).
The country is one of the poorest in the world with more than 50 percent of its population may be considered absolute poor. Because of rural poverty, landlessness, unemployment, natural calamities and lack of job opportunities a large number of rural poor continue to migrate to urban areas leading to the creation of slums in cities and shanty towns, between one-fourth to one-half of the urban population live in inhuman conditions. Many of them live in overcrowded areas with ill-repaired and neglected structures having little or no service facilities. Many live on pavements. In Dhaka city there were 2525 slums and squatter settlements and many residents of these slums either use authorized or unauthorized electric connections, get supply of water from municipal tapes and their toilet facilities are unhygienic15
Where children are inducted into activities that are not only exploitative and illegal but are simply criminal. Prostitution is obviously in this category. Also in a different category are those types of work which are not suited to children. Employers of these types of work manipulate the market of underage children to maximize profit paying them substantially less than would be paid an adult worker and gain a cheap, biddable, easily replaceable labor force. Of course strategies and policies to deal with these types of exploitation have marginal impact on the elimination of poverty which is a contributory factor to increasing vulnerability of poor children who are more likely to be abducted or kidnapped or sold into prostitution by desperate parents.
The emergence of street children – who live, work, sleep and sometimes die uncased for and unprotected – is bound up with the totality of urban problems. Some of them have taken refuge in the city from natural or man-made distress. Handicapped street children, rejected by their families, also constitute a distinct and relatively large category. However, the great majority come from the rural families which are pulled by the glamour of the city or as a result of the brutal economic hardship. Once in the cities, parents and children encounter a way of life that is the reverse of what they know in the villages. Neglect of children is common place under the prevailing social and economic forces. Rafiqun Nabi a character cartoonist has coined a character Tokai’ representing floating children in our cities. The family ties in the rootless and asset less households arc broken easily as they are faced with grim battle of day-to-day survival. In this process parents forget about their children. They take shelter in footpaths, slums, railway stations, even bus and steamer; they cover their bodies with old clothes or with a piece of jute fabric. They collect food in the dustbins. They continue to struggle hard to eke out a sheer survival. Many die in the process and others try to live longer by dint of mental resistance. Some of them collect flowers to sell garlands, some collect papers from the dustbins in order to earn a meager amount of earnings to meet their hunger
The working children or street children are, therefore, the teenagers who live in slums in an inhuman condition. Their parents are poor. The above findings strongly indicate that those working children are forced to undertake any income earning activity for any remuneration along with their parents and other members in the families for the purpose of mere survival. They are not in a position to cater to the needs of their families. These children are the most neglected and deprived section of our population. They have firm determination and ability to improve the conditions of their living if minimum opportunities are given to them to nourish their latent qualities. They need some food, shelter, minimum clothing and educational facilities along with some tolerable occupations. Their basic rights should be given to them in the greater interest of the nation. We should remember the fact that if their wretched conditions are allowed to continue and their numbers are allowed to increase, they would create the worst situation in the society
The size of urban population is the cumulative result of many factors: exploitation by colonial rulers, environmental factors, natural resource constraints, demographic imperatives, landlessness, un-and under¬employment, increasing rural poverty etc. The creation of slums and shanty towns and the accompanying hazards of living force the urban poor and urban slum dwellers to lead inhuman lives. These pathetic socio-economic situations led to the creation of ever-increasing number of working and street children. The CEDC project has to run both the basic education and the vocational training components for the benefit of the inmates16. Similarly, two UCEP schools for the working and street children are implementing only the non-formal education component and the vocational training-cum-job placement component are yet to be carried out.
HANDICAPPED CHILDREN AND THEIR RIGHTS
Disabled persons “have the same fundamental rights as their fellow citizens of the same age, which implies first and foremost the right to enjoy a decent life, as normal and full as possible”
The problems of the handicapped children and persons have not been properly understood. There are social and psychological problems of the handicapped children and their understanding would help in providing necessary help and assistance in protecting their rights. A handicapped child is just like’ other normal children, except that he suffers from a particular handicap. He is capable of performing all the necessary functions which a normal child is expected to do. If not properly taken care of, trained and rehabilitated in order to earn his independent living, a handicapped child would grow up as a handicapped person and continue to remain a burden on the society. They have always been a subject of pity and have been living on others charity. Therefore, the society has to help the handicapped child to develop his latent potentialities so that he can grow up as independent self-earning individual and can live with respect and dignity like other normal human beings. It is now recognized that a handicapped child has a right to live and enjoy life like other human beings. The international community has enacted a series of instruments and human rights declaration to protect their right to life and living. The main international instruments addressing the disabled are The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and on the Civil and Political Rights (1966), the Declaration on the Rights of the Mentally Retarded Persons (1971), the Declaration of Rights of the Disabled Persons (1975), and The Principles for Protection of Persons with Mental Illness and for The Improvement of Mental Health Care (1991). ‘Disabled persons shall enjoy all the rights set forth in this Declaration. These rights shall be granted to all disabled persons without any exception and without distinction or discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinions, national or social origin, state of health, birth or any other situation applying either to the disabled person himself or to his or her family.18”Disabled persons “have the same fundamental rights. As their fellow citizens of the same age, which implies first and foremost the right to enjoy a decent life, as normal and full as possible19”. “They are entitled to measures designed to enable them to become self reliant as possible”20. “They have the right, according to their capabilities to secure and retain employment or to engage in a useful, productive and remunerative occupation and to join trade unions”21 . “Disabled persons shall be: protected against all-exploitation, all regulations and all treatments of a discriminatory, abusive or degrading nature22.
“A person is blind who cannot count the fingers of a hand held up at a yard’s distance”. He is unable to perform any work for which eyesight is essential. Totally blind are those who cannot count fingers from a distance of one foot and partially blind, oh the other hand, cannot do the same counting by stretching their hands out. Because of lack of proper medical facilities in the country the incidence of blindness is not controlled. Advanced countries have a system of registration of all their blind persons. We need also to develop similar system.
A blind person does not need pity. What he needs is understanding and encouragement so that it is possible to live as normal a life as possible. With the advent of Braille system, it is possible to give them some education. In the western countries a blind person is able to earn as much as a sighted person in certain avocations with needed training. There are today 3 kinds of institutions working for the blind: (i) residential education, (ii) day-schools and (iii) integrated schools. While some people believe in the institutionalization of a blind child away from the family, a second school believes that blind child should remain in the family 1 A third group advocates the efficacy of integrated schools. The blind child should study along with sighted children with arrangement of special coaching teacher knowing Braille. Moreover, the nursery education for the blind child should also receive due consideration as it will prepare him to adjust himself to his handicap before he attains school-age. At this stage he should be given love and affection, opportunities for learning by doing, freedom to manipulate objectives, freedom to move about and to ask question, thereby a healthy relationship develops between the blind child and his parents. The second age-group for the purpose of educating the blind child may be from 6 to 12 years when he should be able to sufficiently ‘master Braille and the subjects may include physical training, nature study, cooking for girls, history, geography, simple crafts, hobbies, southing, etc. In the third stage the blind child should be given systematic education. From 16 onwards the child should be classified on the basis of his performances in studies, his aptitude and ability. Others could be given training in certain vocations for sheltered employment or for employment in the open employment opportunities
Deaf and Dumb Children:
Deafness is severe handicap, although it is not visible. The deaf are those in whom the sense of hearing is non-functional for the ordinary purposes of life. The deaf do not develop speech and are called dumb. The causes of deafness are
(i) otitis media
(ii) acute infectious diseases
(iii) septic tonsils
(v) Chronic Rhinitis
(vii) eruptive fever
(viii) Congenital syphilis
(ix) High fever
(xii) Whooping cough.
Deafness is of three kinds:
(i) when a child is born deaf,
(ii) when he becomes deaf at an early age when there are possibilities of training and
(iii) when he becomes deaf in later years when remedial, measures are not very effective.
The Education Act of 1944 made it obligatory for the local authority to provide education to the deaf children. We should remember the fact that education and training of deaf children should start at a very early age so that it is possible to train child’s organs not only to take care of family but that he may be able to use the instructions properly. A high degree of excellence is required in the school for the deaf. The deaf can do almost all types of jobs except those where use of hearing and speaking is required. They can be trained in such trades as cane-work, carpentry, weaving, tailoring, wood curving, clay modeling, dyeing, printing etc. Sheltered workshop for the deaf could be started preferably independent of schools. A deaf child is not accepted by his family, community and the employer. A social work agency has not only to change the attitude of the people towards the deaf but also to choose certain operations in industry, trades and handicrafts which the deaf can do without much difficulty.
The crippled are those who have orthopedic disabilities that affect the upper and lower limbs, bone joints and muscles. Some neurological cases are also classified as cerebral palsy or spastic cases. It has been observed all over the world that the crippled can lead normal lives if they are given proper education and training. So our attitude towards the crippled has to change. In olden days the crippled had no right to live. Rehabilitation services began to develop for war-veterans in many countries after the Second World War. Increasingly free primary education is being made available to all children. The aim is to give the crippled child every facility to approach normalcy and to be segregated as little as possible. Crippled children need recreation like a normal child. Recreation can be used as a therapy Therefore, recreation should be purposeful and organized under the guidance of recreation therapist. The crippled need not live on charity but he can be trained for certain jobs whereby he can earn his livelihood. Training in a particular vocation or craft is necessary for a handicapped. It is, therefore, possible to make a useless person into a happy citizen and it needs imagination, enthusiasm and interest in the rehabilitation of the crippled.
Mentally Retarded Children: Mental retardation means incomplete mental development. A mentally retarded child is not able to learn as much as other children. He is unable to use his judgment. Mental retardation is of different type’s idiocy, imbecilic, feeble-mindedness and moral defectiveness. It can occur before birth, after birth and during childhood.
In our country the family and the community looked at the handicapped with pity and they have been living on others’ charity. It is now recognized that with suitable education and training, the handicapped can begin to lead almost normal lives independently. The International Community has also enacted a number of declarations as regards the rights of the handicapped to live and enjoy normal lives. A few national voluntary organizations and their district branches are doing commendable jobs in educating, training and rehabilitating the blind, deaf and dumb, crippled and mentally retarded children and helping them lead as normal and independent lives as possible
RIGHTS OF TIHE CHILDREN IN CONFLICT WITH LAW AND IN MORAL DANGER:
The term ‘social defense’ has come into wider usage because ‘social defense’ measures are being increasingly used in all societies to protect themselves from social evils arising out of individuals who come in conflict with law. There are two areas of operation of the social defense programmers- the first being the apprehension of individuals who come in conflict with law and the second areas of social defense is concerned with correction and reformation of such individuals. Thus social problems such as juvenile delinquency’, immoral trafficking of women and children’ unmarried mothers and adult offenders are covered under the broad term ‘social defense. As a result of development of social sciences and social research, the scope of social defense has been widened and intensified now. The emphasis today is not on punishment but on correction and rehabilitation. Instead of merely punishing a delinquent, efforts are made to first find out the reasons for his committing acts of delinquency by studying and understanding the individual in his environment. Efforts are undertaken to understand the environments which are responsible for bringing individuals in conflict with law and society.
According to the Bangladesh Penal Code of 1860 a child below seven years of age is presumed to be innocent, because he cannot be deemed to be guilty of criminal offence. The Penal Code categorically states, “Nothing is an offence which is done by a child under seven years of age (sec. 82). The same Code further provides that if a child between seven and twelve commits an offence without attaining maturity to understand and judge the consequences of his action, he cannot be found guilty. In the UN Convention on the Rights of The Child (1989) a child is defined as a person under the age of 18, unless national laws determine an earlier age of majority. In the Bangladesh Children Act, 1974 a boy or girl below the age of sixteen is defined as a child. A boy or girl under sixteen years of age indulging in any unlawful acts will be considered as youthful offenders under the Children Act (1974) and necessary steps will be taken against him or her in accordance with the provisions of this Act. The juvenile delinquents are identified by observing the abnormal behavior, non-adaptive personality, dissatisfied life, frustrated feeling, hostile attitude towards the norms of group life, antagonistic habit of breaking existing laws, etc. In our country juvenile delinquency is generally associated with theft, murder, pick-pocketing, fraud, truancy, fighting, sexual offence, etc. They are found to indulge in street fighting on the street corners, at the cinema halls and recreation centre, insulting the passerby and teasing the policemen, crowding at cross-roads and loitering, gazing at girls, teasing them by uttering filthy words, absenting themselves from home till late at night, rush driving of motor cycles and violating traffic rules and other abnormal behaviors. The problem of juvenile delinquency may be due to a number of socio-economic conditions: negligence by parents and depriving children of parental care, love and protection; inability to meet the minimum basic needs; family conflicts and the evil influences1 of family environment; economic deprivation or affluence; bad companionship; lack of recreational facilities for the juveniles; lack of proper educational environment in educational institutions; affluence of obscene literature; increase in urban centre and slums; political and social instability; erosion of religious values; lack of proper supervision; defective socialization; etc.
Child Trafficking: Trafficking in women and children is a contemporaot form of slavery and is a grave violation of human rights. It is an international Problem connected to political, socio-economic and gender inequalities.
Drug Addiction: Almost all primitive and modern people seem to have used some method of modifying drug even if it was alcohol or opium. The use of dependence producing drug in most countries has a long traditional and social moorings. Modern world may very well be termed drug age or drug culture since the majority of young people use some kind of stimulant, drug, tranquillizer or other chemical substances to be able to confront the vicissitudes of modern life. Drug abusers are found today in almost all cultures of the world. In fact, drug addiction has emerged as an international problem. This problem has produced health hazards and a formidable social scourge. For a long time its use or abuse was limited to affluent countries of the west but it has made its way into the developing world affecting all levels of society. Two reasons have been advanced behind the pervasive prevalence of drug; (i) radical expansion of the field of chemistry and chemical technology and (ii) improved communication has rendered its easy smuggling all over the globe.
Drug abuse is now not limited to the cities only, it has also infiltrated the rural areas. Drug use was once thought to be connected with remedy of diseases but at present it has emerged as a fatal threat to the psycho-physiological integrity of human beings leading to its addiction by thousands of Bangladesh young people with whom Indian hemp (ganja) has become popular. During mid-eighties a powerful interlocking substance known as heroin has engulfed the young generation all over the country on a scale undreamt of a few decades ago. This was possible primarily because Bangladesh is being used as a mute of drug smugglers.
The concept of social defense is assuming significance now-a-days because it advocates the protection of the rights of the juvenile delinquents and the trafficked children by emphasizing correction and rehabilitation rather than punishment.
PARTICIPATION AND OPINION:
The plausible inspiration for organizing and participating in such large scale voluntary activities may spring from people’s altruistic, religious and cultural motivations. This is evident in the provisions related to the care and protection of the orphans which is regarded as a religious obligation. The participation in such way that -Involvement, Educational background, occupation, age, financial contribution are lighted by the important opinion by the fellow persons.
CHAPTER – X
CHILDREN’S RIGHTS AND LAW IN BANGLADESH
Children have rights as members of society. This has been recognized by international community in recent times. As a signatory to U.N. Declaration on the Rights of the Child in 1990, there is an upsurge of awareness of rights of children in Bangladesh that has been reflected in its laws and social programs.
In Bangladesh, it has been observed, that state action through legislation concerning children has been evolved from protection oriented to right oriented laws. At present laws embodying social policy towards children embrace many aspects of their lives. These laws in turn mirror society’s views on children.
Social Attitude towards Children: Children’s social status has changed over Time. Noticeable legal points of view regarding them found currency in times. The traditional view regards parents as a natural proctor of their children. Parents were considered to act in the interest child. Children have little rights of their own. The protective holds that society has regulatory and interceptive role to protect children in situations where parental care is inadequate. State’s protective role with children found its origin in the English common law doctrine of parens patriae. This doctrine authorized English courts to see the guardianship of minors in property. The English courts gradually enlarged its jurisdiction in other areas of children’s interest coming in conflict with the law. Thus Juvenile Courts emerged in the protective role of children leading to a separate judicial mechanism in the criminal justice system. This view regards that children have independent legal rights and does not rely on parents or guardians or the state to act in their interest. Again there appears another view that emphasized stronger role for parents in caring children. It is described as a nontraditional view. It showed the resurgence of neo-traditional thinking challenging the desirability of state’s protective role and children’s rights movement. At present there is a view that children have rights of their own against authorities and parents that has found international acceptance. The idea of state protection of children combined with children’s right appears to be a proper description of the social policy towards children in Bangladesh.
DATA BASE DISCUSSION & INFORMATION:
The statistics show that there were over one million occurrences during 1986-87 wherein 10 to 20 thousand requested medical treatment. On an average there are about 1.5 million cases of corporal punishment reported. Excessive corporal punishment attracts application of civil and criminal laws from the beginning of the independent US. In Texas, over 3000 paddling per month were reportedly given in Dallas Schools, some only because the student did not address the teacher as ‘sir* or for incorrect spelling.
A four-year-old boy and his father charged for labor violations after refusing to pay extortion money in Bangladesh. The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has been informed that a four-year-old (name withheld) boy and his father, Umesh Chandra Das, were charged for allegedly employing child workers in violation of labour laws. However, the charges against Umesh and his son were allegedly filed by a labour officer to whom they refused to pay extortion money worth TK. 500 (USD 7.55).
“Umesh and his son were at their restaurant when a district labor inspector of Rangpur conducted an inspection at their restaurant. He demanded money from Umesh for opening his restaurant on holiday, which is said to be prohibited. When Umesh refused to pay money, the labor inspector threatened to take action against him. It is reported that a few weeks later, Umesh received an arrest warrant from the Magistrate’s Cognizance Court-2 of Rangpur. He and his son were ordered to appear before ‘the court, where they discovered that they had been charged for violation of labor laws. The strong intervention demanding for the dropping of charges against the boy and his father. Under Bangladesh’s laws and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a child cannot be charged in regular court. To constitute an offence, one of the primary requirements is the ‘mental element’ which cannot be fastened upon a child of four years of age. The child must be tried in a Juvenile Court where the practices and rules of procedures are different from an ordinary court. In this case, clearly he did not violate any laws at all. An inquiry over the allegation of extortion by a labor inspector must be conducted. If the is found to be true, appropriate charges must be filed against him. The AHRC is calling upon you to write letters to the relevant authorities in Bangladesh, in particular, the Director General of Labor and the Ministry of Labor and Manpower Affairs, urging
Them to take appropriate action on this case. Immediate disciplinary and legal action against the labor officer must be imposed”
Children Reappear in Bangladesh’s Garment Industry Worker rights violations has continued to plague the made-for-export garment industry in Bangladesh. For one thing, many of its 2,000,000 workers still work in dangerous firetraps24. But in recent years, thanks to international pressure and the work of the International Labor Organization, export garment factories have, in accordance with Bangladesh law, stopped employing boys and girls under the age of 14. At least, that was the good news coming out of Bangladesh.’
So it came as a surprise last month when the anti-sweatshop National Labor Committee issued a well documented report titled “Child Labor Is Back: Children Again Sewing Clothing for Wal-Mart, Hanes, and Other Companies.” In fact, the child labor abuses they found at the Harvest Rich factory complex surprised even Charles Kernaghan, director of the National Labor Committee (NLC), and his colleagues when they personally interviewed the factory’s child workers and others.
This is the socio demographic in Rajshahi city25 –
Number of children
Beloow 10 years
11 -15 years
16 and above
This is the living percents of the working children –
Number of families
Both parents alive
Father not alive
Mother not alive
Both parents dead
Gross Violation of Child Rights:
Children Kept in Temporary Detention Center in Inhumane Conditions for over One Month At least 7 Palestinian children have been detained for over three weeks in inhumane temporary detention conditions at Bet El military base just outside Ramallah. Eleven children are living and sleeping in an area of 5 square metres. They are allowed to take a 30 minute break just once a week. The youngest of the children, is 14 years old. DCI has taken affidavits from six of the children, at least two of whom have been subjected to positional torture, or shabeh. None of the children have been allowed to receive family visits. DCI believes that the current situation contravenes numerous international laws concerning the rights of detained children.
“No child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment…No child shall be deprived of his or her liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily…Children shall be treated with humanity and respect and in a manner which takes into account the needs of persons of his or her age”
BACKGROUND: Munir and Ibrahim (see affidavit below) are just two of the six prisoners who have spoken to DCI/PS about the conditions in Bet El Detention Center. Their affidavits illustrate that this facility is completely unfit for long-term detention, particularly of children. The rooms are extremely small and children and adults are being held together. There is a ck of basic facilities including mattresses and blankets, clothes, books and decent food. Although this center is supposed to be for temporary detention, all six children have been detained for at least 3 weeks id some, for over 5 weeks in these inhumane conditions. One of the children has been sentenced to 4 months imprisonment. But despite this, he; still being held in the temporary center. Worsening detention conditions can be seen within the context of a rapid increase in child arrests over the last three years. Since the beginning of the al-Aqsa intifada, 1650 Palestinian children have been arrested by the Israeli authorities. Around 320-350 of these remain in Israeli jails. Although child arrest is meant to be a measure of last resort, the Israeli authority’s arrest, detain and torture children as a latter of routine. This is a further demonstration of Israel’s lack of regard or international law, and specifically, the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
“I was arrested on the 3rd of April (2002) and then they decided to detain me, pending trial. According to the court decision I was supposed to e transferred to another center, but until now this has not happened. The detention circumstances are very hard. We are with 11 detainees in this very mall room of a bit more than 5 m2. There are two adults being held with us. ^ sleep on 4 mattresses and share 4 blankets. We are allowed to use the bathroom three times a day only and we can take a shower once a week. We re given a recess once a week of 15-30 minutes. The administration does. To provide any goods, or clothes. We do not have anything to spend our time with, just we sit and talk. Sometimes we are given Hebrew newspapers, but we cannot read Hebrew. I need to be transferred immediately.26
“HI am giving this affidavit to transfer me from Bet El to another detention center. I was taken on 18/3 and on the 1st of April they decided to detain me, pending trial. The situation is unbearable. We are in a ‘very small room with 11 people: we sleep on 4 mattresses: every three latrines share a blanket and a mattress. We are allowed to use the) bathroom only three times a day on specific times. And only once a week we ire allowed to take a 30 minutes recess. There is nothing in the room, we pent our time sitting and talking: there are no books etc. Regarding the body: we get 3 meals a day, but it is of bad quality and it is not enough jitter. The prison guards and administration arc treating us very bad. They force us into shabeh position: they tie our hands up and one leg and then we have to face the wall. I want to leave as soon as possible from this detention center.27 Children soldiers: The most serious violation of children’s rights by Spiros Tzelepis some 300,000 under age 18 are said to be in armies around the world. This year the world celebrates the tenth anniversary of the Rights of Children, and many lectures and conferences will be held because of this. People will gather to confirm these rights, and they are happy for this achievement. However, a large number of children do not have the chance to enjoy these written rights; I am (referring to the children who are forced to join the army at an early age. I remember what Mr. Jeff Zucker from UNICEF said to me some months ago while I was (interviewing him: “The most serious violation of the rights of children is the case of children soldiers”.28
Teenage soldier in Sierra Leone this is an issue we rarely think of because we do not have such experiences in our countries, but whenever media highlights it we are all shocked. Today a very large number of children are forced to take part in various wars around world”Children under 18 participate actively in wars from the West and Central Africa to Balkan and Latin America, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan according to UN. 8000 children have been kidnapped by guerrillas in Uganda since 1995, according to UNICEF. 15,000 children fight in Colombia, according to Amnesty International and many more have been recruited in paramilitary groups. 300,000 children are soldiers in 60 countries, according to Amnesty International.
The phenomenon of child soldiers is not new. Children have actively participated in wars since the ancient years (for example they were very active in Ancient Sparta, Greece). During the Second World War, 15-year-olds defended Berlin. Nowadays more and more take part in civil wars, and sometimes they are the first to take up guns. They are mainly from impoverished and marginalized backgrounds.
The reasons are many: In many areas the children outnumber the adults; for example in the Africa, South from Sahara, half of the population is under 18. Children are more likely to be led to war. Let us think that in many areas the only entertainment that exists is the “Rambo” films that provide viewers with moments of excitement and function as role models for the children (rural population of Liberia and Sierra Leone). When they are not fascinated by these films, they are forced to war and consequently they are getting addicted to alcohol and marihuana, and this way they often are persuaded to rush into fights. As time goes by, they develop a feeling of devotion as they are not aware of an alternative way of living.
They are small, and because of this, the adults use them as spies and traps. They are usually more willing to accomplish hazardous missions than the adults, such as mine clearance or for invasion in the villages which are to be attacked later. Children face death with less fear than the adults as they have no family responsibilities such as the adult men who have daughters and wives. Sometimes the child soldiers are turned into bombs of suicide. They need less food than adults; they do not want salary; they need less space; they obey the orders.29
They are kidnapped from their communities by various teams which start as political fighters, then later turn to promote crime. For the first category there is hope, but not for the other two.
The life of the children soldiers is a nightmare30: A 12 year-old child soldier in Sierra Leone.
‘Many are shot or punished, strictly because they have made (mistakes; they are injured as they are obliged to carry heavy loads; they suffer damage to their eyes and ears and are victims of sexually spread diseases; they are addicted to drugs; most of them have experienced and committed horror acts(guerrillas use them to attack their own families).
The most important consequence is that, since the only thing they know is to use arms, they cannot adapt to peace when it comes to their countries. In cases where the conflicts last for many years (Sierra Leone, Afghanistan) many of the guerrillas’ leaders are ex-child soldiers. Some of the guerrillas who kidnap children in Sierra Leone were kidnapped themselves when the war started in 1991. Taliban leaders learned to fight as teenagers in the refugee camps in Pakistan31
Conflicts in which children are involved are very difficult to stop. In Uganda 500 children are used to guard the resources of various teams. In Colombia various groups fight to control the drugs. In West Africa most fights are for the control of the mineral resources and especially diamonds. In all the above cases children learn that crime is a kind of war and continue it. The issue of child soldiers is recognized as a special chapter in negotiations for peace in many places around the world. Not only demobilization, but education, sanitary care and democratic breeding are topics for discussion as well.
From the study of the research paper it is very much clear that the judicial review is followed in different terms with the touch of the different manner. From the thesis paper there is a feature of the judicial system of the selected countries. A law cannot be held unconstitutional on the ground that it violates one or more of the principles of liberty, or the spirit of the constitution unless such principles or the spirit are found in terms of the constitution. The thesis that is prepared by me is a comparative study. The research made use of both case studies, and collected from the various famous writers books. In the Thesis I built a true and specific feature of the judicial review in different countries and will help us to understand the judicial proceeding not only Bangladesh but also different countries.
“There should neither physical nor mental punishment in humiliating methods. The stress and strain imposed on child with terrorized atmosphere prevalent in the schools because of corporal punishments, cut throat competitions and increasing pressure for ranks lead them to leave the schools. Suicides are another major possible consequence of such terrible incidents in the schools. The plight of junior college students, who are cornered to commit suicides due to meaningless competition and ambitious craze for professional courses is already rocking the morale of the students and parents and affecting the commercial profits of the coaching colleges which are functioning as Tuition Mills. School children should not be driven to such an unfortunate situation. We shall not wait for some school student’s .also to commit suicides for us to act upon. Let us all save their childhood. ‘Spare the rod and save the childhood1 should be the new slogan.”
So at the end of the research it can be said that The Convention provides a universal set of standards to be adhered to by all countries. It reflects a new vision of the child. Children are neither the property of their parents nor are they helpless objects of charity. They are human beings and are the subject of their own rights. The Convention offers a child as an individual and a member of a family and a community, with rights and responsibilities appropriate to his or her age and stage of development. Recognizing children’s rights in this way firmly sets a focus on the whole child. Previously seen as negotiable, the child’s needs have become legally binding rights. No longer has the passive recipient of benefits, the child become the subject or holder of rights. The Convention was the first time a formal commitment was made to ensure the realization of human rights and monitor progress on the situation of children and indicates that children’s rights are human rights. Children’s rights are not special rights, but rather the fundamental rights inherent to the human dignity of all people, including children. Children’s rights can no longer be perceived as an option, as a question of favor or kindness to children or as an expression of charity. They generate obligations and responsibilities that we all must honor and respect. The Convention promotes an international system of solidarity designed to achieve the realization of children’s rights. Using the Convention’s reporting process as a reference, donor countries are required to provide assistance in areas where particular needs have been identified; recipient countries are required to direct overseas development assistance (ODA) to that end too highlights and defends the family’s role in children’s lives. We should raise awareness and disseminate information on the Convention by providing training to all those involved in government policy-making and working with or for children and to promote better relationship with the all connectivity of protecting the child rights in national level with the standard maintain international level of the child rights.
Bangladesh is one of the world’s most densely populated countries, placing pressure on land and other resources. Many families in Bangladesh live in extreme poverty and consequently their children have to work long hours for very low wages instead of going to school. Such poverty is often made worse by floods in the Ganges and Brahmaputra River Deltas where Bangladesh is situated. A child is a person and not a sub person over whom the parent has an absolute possessor’s interest. The term “child” does not necessarily mean minor but can include adult children as well as adult nondependent children. Children are generally afforded the basic rights embodied by the Constitution. Children are our Precious Gifts. They deserve the very best attention and care we can give them. As hard as our leaders may try, this cannot be the sole responsibility of our government. Instead, each of us must share the burden. It is our job as adults to ensure the next generation receives all the advantages we can offer. It should be mentioned in this connection that the needed logistic supports like the space, furniture, books etc. are not available for the inmates. In some institutions the inmates have to pursue their studies in their own beds. Needed trained
teachers are also not employed by them in order to make the elementary basic education attractive and interesting to the boys. This aspect has to be given serious consideration by the policy makers. Those Congress attendees were a diverse group, representing not only national governments and international rights organizations but also law enforcement, academia, the health care professions and the media, is testament to the global recognition that an interdisciplinary approach will be required to eliminate sexual exploitation in its many manifestations. Clearly, no single intervention can adequately address the issues involved. Sustained efforts at legal reform and law enforcement, commitment to long-term development that increases access to resources for all members of a community, regardless of gender or social status, and improved adherence to the mandates of international human rights conventions arc all strategies critical to achieving the goals of the Congress.
At the same time, those who seek to document the conditions of children and young people vulnerable to exploitation must strive to improve the reliability of their reports. The need for methodologically sound ways to define, measure and record the prevalence of exploitation and the conditions that encourage it is distressingly clear from an examination of the available materials. Moreover, such improvements arc essential if changes in the circumstances of vulnerable youths arc to be achieved. Lastly, the pervasiveness of gender discrimination underlies many of the issues highlighted at the Congress. While boys and young men the world over also confront exploitation in their daily lives, it is girls and young women who are most vulnerable to the short- and long-term consequences of sexual exploitation. At Cairo, at Beijing, and now, in Stockholm, the detrimental impact of gender inequality on the human rights of girls and women has been illuminated and reinforced. Ultimately, the message of the World Congress echoes that of the global conferences that have preceded it: If the international community is to succeed in protecting the world’s most vulnerable citizens, it must first succeed in valuing them. So besides the govt. we should take proper care of our children and make a nice place of the enjoy world for the children and only for the children because they are our future assets.