Families, civil society and the government should work together to provide equal opportunities to children for their development and to ensure their protection, speakers at a roundtable in the capital said yesterday.
The roundtable, “Child protection and prevention of corporal and psychological punishment of children”, was organised by Bangla daily Prothom Alo, in association with Save the Children and Bangladesh Legal Aid And Service Trust (BLAST) at the former's office in Karwan Bazar.
Kazi Reazul Haque, chairman of Bangladesh National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), said there has been policy-level progress in protecting child's rights, but little has been done to implement that.
Justice (retd) Nizamul Huq Nasim, chief legal advisor to BLAST, said incidents of corporal punishment have reduced in urban areas, but the scenario has not changed much in rural settings.
Laila Khandaker, director of Child Protection Unit of Save the Children, said violence against children is a violation of human rights.
Prof Quazi Faruque Ahmed, chairperson of Initiative for Human Development, said parents and teachers should be made aware of the negative impact of corporal punishment on children.
Abdus Shahid Mahmud, director of Bangladesh Shishu Odhikar Forum, said when a child is tortured or abused, they tend to become abusive towards others.
Associate Prof Mekhala Sarkar, department of psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health, said when a child is tortured, he or she seems to develop severe self-esteem issues.
Rehana Begum, deputy programme manager of Campaign for Popular Education; Ferdous Nayeem, deputy speaker of Child Parliament (a wing of National Children Taskforce); and Nurun Naher Osmani, a member of NHRC, also spoke.