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Meena day promotes end of corporal punishment

Dhaka, 23 September 2011: Bangladesh will celebrate Meena Day under the theme of ‘Love and Affection can win all – That Punishment can Never Do’ on Saturday, 24 September 2011.

This year’s theme has been inspired by the initiative taken by the Government of Bangladesh to ban corporal punishment in all educational institutions across the country.

According to a UNICEF Report titled, ‘Opinions of Children of Bangladesh on Corporal Punishment’, 91 per cent of children reported receiving physical punishment in school while 74 per cent also reported receiving physical punishment at home, showing a widespread use of corporal punishment in Bangladesh.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child states unequivocally that all forms of physical or mental violence against children in the family, school and workplace must be prohibited. This edict is reinforced by the United Nations Study on Violence against Children, which set a target date of 2009 for universal prohibition of corporal punishment.

The government's order banning corporal punishment covers all schools, including madrassas in Bangladesh. In its latest directive, the education ministry banned what it described as inhuman and merciless punishment given to students in schools. Corporal punishment damaged the development of students, it said.

Every year Meena Day is observed on 24 September to promote children’s rights. UNICEF Bangladesh along with Government, NGOs and other partners will celebrate the Meena Day 2011 at national, Divisional, district and community level through different activites.

At National level Department of Primary Education will organize a programme at Engineers Institute with 400 children from different primary schools and 200 teacher and guardians. Dr. Afsarul Amin, MP, Minister of Primary and Mass Education ministry will attended the program as chief guest while Mr. Motaher Hossain, MP, State Minister, Primary and Mass Education, will be the special guest.

The celebration of Meena day will be marked by viewing two new episodes of Meena cartoons titled “Jadur Pathor” (The Magic Stone), which features sound hand-washing practices and “Rupkathar Deshe Meena” (Meena in Fantasy Land), which is about new-born care. As part of Meena day programme, children disguised as Meena, Razu and Mithu participated in a parade on the streets of Dhaka.

At divisional, district and community level, Meena Day will be celebrated through various activities which include discussion, film shows, school debate, art competition, storytelling and story writing.

For more information, please contact:
Arifa S. Sharmin, Officer-in-Charge, Communication and Information Section, +880 2 8852266, Ext 7021
AM Sakil Fizullah, Communication Specialist, Communication and Information Section UNICEF Bangladesh +880 2 8852266, Ext: 7028 Email: ;;;;;

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.



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