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Satellite Television Channels Join Hands with UNICEF to Uphold Child Rights

Dhaka, November 3, 2011: Leading national satellite television channels in Bangladesh have agreed to allocate one minute free air coverage during prime time to promote children’s issues, including hand-washing with soap, and campaigning against child labour. ATN Bangla, Desh TV and Somoy Television have signed today a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with UNICEF in the presence of Mr. Abul Kalam Azad, Minister of Information and Culture to formalize this unique partnership.

UNICEF will produce Public Service Announcements (PSA) under the guidance of the relevant Ministry to promote priority issues related to children’s wellbeing, which will be broadcast by the Satellite Television Channels. Asaduzzaman Nur (MP), Dr. Mahfuzur Rahman and Ahmed Jubaer have signed the MoU from their respective orgaizations with Carel de Rooy, UNICEF Representative.

Minister of Information and Culture, Mr. Abul Kalam Azad congratulated the participating television channels for their extra ordinary efforts and called on other television channels to come forward to promote the wellbeing of children.

“We are delighted that a number of the leading satellite television stations for the first time have agreed to
devote primetime air coverage to promoting children’s issues and raising awareness of children’s rights,” says Carel de Rooy, UNICEF’s Representative. “We know from experience that television can play an important role in providing important information to people. I believe this partnership will have a significant impact on raising awareness about children’s rights among parents, teachers and society. This will help to create an environment where children will be able to realize their rights as enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of Children.”

Chief Executive Officers of the respective television channels also spoke during the event held at hotel

Bangladesh has made considerable progress on several Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), notably MDGs 4 and 5, reducing the under-five child and maternal mortality rates to 53.8 per thousand live birth. However, neonatal mortality is still a challenge, 57 per cent of under-five mortality contributed by neonatal mortality.

There are approximately 42.3 million children aged between 5-17 years old in Bangladesh and 7.9 million are estimated as ‘working’ children. The nutritional status of children is a huge challenge for the country. Also, it is important to enforce laws against child labour and child marriage as three in 10 girls are married before age of 15 and one in three teenage girls bear children.

These are some of the issues that need to be raised by the media to help galvanize social awareness and action.

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.

For more information please contact:
• Arifa S. Sharmin, Communication Manager, Communication and Information Section Tel: 8852266 Ext 7021, Email:
• Shima Islam, Chief, Communication and Information Section; Tel: 8852266-Ext 7020, Email:



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