The Government, with UNICEF support, accelerates efforts in combating violence against children and child marriage in Bangladesh

“Red Card” National multimedia campaign launched to promote behavioral change and social movement against violence and child marriage at the community level

11 March 2024
Guests and attendees raise their red cards on the stage at today's 'National Multimedia Campaign on Prevention of Violence Against Children (VAC) and Child Marriage (CM)' launch event.
UNICEF/UNI535529/Haider

DHAKA, 11 March 2024 - The Ministry of Women and Children Affairs (MoWCA), with technical support of UNICEF, today launched the "National Multimedia Campaign on Prevention of Violence Against Children (VAC) and Child Marriage (CM).”

The initiative is a part of the ongoing efforts of the Accelerating Protection for Children (APC) project led by MoWCA and UNICEF to address the alarming prevalence of violence against children and child marriage in Bangladesh. The project is focused on strengthening institutional capacity and establishing a system for child protection at national and sub-national level.  

"Today’s launching is a pivotal moment in our ongoing mission to protect the rights and dignity of children in Bangladesh," stated Ms. Simeen Hussain (Rimi), Honorable State Minister, Ministry of Women and Children Affairs.

"Violence against children and child marriage not only violates their fundamental rights but also has enduring detrimental effects on their physical, emotional, and psychological well-being. The government is committed to working hand in hand with UNICEF and other stakeholders to eradicate these harmful practices and create a safe and nurturing environment for all children," she added.

Supported with funding from the European Union and the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), the campaign is aligned with the National Children’s Policy to uphold the rights of children and the National Action Plan (NAP) to eliminate child marriage in Bangladesh by 2041.

"The campaign underscores our unwavering dedication to empower communities to champion child protection," expressed Emma Brigham, Representative a.i. UNICEF Bangladesh. "Through strategic communication and community mobilization, we aim to create an environment where every child can thrive free from violence and exploitation. We call any concerned person to call Child Helpline 1098, the toll-free nationwide number, providing counselling and referrals to protection, legal aid, shelter, health and education services.”

Dr. Bernd Spanier, Chargé d'Affaires of the EU Delegation in Bangladesh, expressed support for the initiative, reiterating the fact that "the European Union stands in solidarity with Bangladesh in its endeavours to safeguard children's rights. We commend the Government of Bangladesh and UNICEF for kick-starting this much needed campaign to address violence against children and child marriage."

The Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 2019 revealed that almost 9 out of 10[1] children aged between 1 to 14 years have encountered instances of physical violence and psychological aggression within their homes.

In addition, Bangladesh ranks among the top 10 countries globally with over half of girls[2] married before becoming 18, almost one out of four girls have given birth before the age of 18, while eight out of 10 have given birth before reaching the age of 20.

Drawing from evidence, the campaign will provide a comprehensive approach to facilitate behavioral change through Public Service Announcement (PSA) and initiate a social movement against violence and child marriage. It will prioritize community engagement in hard-to-reach areas and districts with a high prevalence of violence against children and child marriage and reinforce collaborative action to challenge harmful social norms while advocating for positive parenting practices.

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[1] An estimated 89 per cent of children.

[2] 51.4 per cent

Media contacts

Farjana Sultana
UNICEF Bangladesh
Tel: +880 1911519507
Faria Selim
UNICEF Bangladesh
Tel: +8801817586096

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