UNICEF is deeply concerned about children caught up in recent violence
Dhaka, 19 November 2013: UNICEF is increasingly worried about children who have been caught up in recent violent protests and the continued use of children in demonstrations held by political parties in Bangladesh. Alarmingly, a number of children have died or have been seriously injured during violent political demonstrations across the country in the last few weeks.
“UNICEF voiced its concern earlier this year about not using children for political gain. Worryingly children have increasingly become the victims of violent protests. Children should be kept out of harm’s way and we reiterate that the use of children for political gain must stop,” said UNICEF Representative Pascal Villeneuve. “At times of great uncertainty, such as before and during an election, it is important that homes, communities, and schools continue to be havens of safety for children. Children should be sheltered, in all countries, from political turbulence.”
Children should be able to continue with their lives and enjoy their rights. Children should have uninterrupted access to basic social services. Those responsible for providing these services, such as teachers and health workers, are accomplishing a noble duty and should themselves be protected from violence, so that they can meet their responsibilities to children without fear and interruption.
UNICEF urgently calls upon all parties to keep children safe from any kind of violence and to solve their political differences through peaceful dialogue. Children account for 40 per cent of the population of Bangladesh, and represent all of the country’s future.
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