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Child Rights

© UNICEF Bangladesh/2008/Naser Siddique
Children enjoy a theatrical performance on the World Day against Child Labour, Dhaka division.

Bangladesh ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in August 1990, marking children’s rights to life, survival and development on the national agenda. Despite this, outdated legislation, inadequate policies and poor services continue to jeopardize the rights of children.

Outdated legislation
There is no comprehensive national legislation governing the rights of children in Bangladesh. Provisions related to children are spread across various different laws, many of which predate the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Consequently, provisions are not always consistent with the rights outlined in the CRC.

The pioneering Children Act of 1974 is the only legislation specifically addressing children. However, this law deals only with children in need of protection and children in conflict with the law, often without making a clear distinction between the two groups. The Act makes children the objects of its provisions, rather than the holders of rights.

Protection services
There is no comprehensive public system to protect children from violence, abuse or exploitation. A lack of adequate support services for children prevents full implementation of existent government policies. Moreover, many of these policies are not child friendly and are in conflict with the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Read about UNICEF-supported legislative reform.



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