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UNICEF and Save the Children congratulate the National Parliament of Bangladesh on passing the Children’s Bill 2013

Dhaka, Bangladesh, 17 June 2013: UNICEF and Save the Children welcome the passing of the Children’s Bill 2013 by the National Parliament of Bangladesh (Bangladesh Jatiya Sangsad). The new law is based on the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC) and has referred to the CRC in the preamble.

“The passing of the Children’s Bill by Parliament is a great milestone for children in Bangladesh”, said UNICEF Representative Pascal Villeneuve. “The law now recognizes that a child is defined as any person below the age of 18 years old, providing a universal and internationally recognized definition for a child.”

He added, “For the first time, the law has a provision for child victims and witnesses cementing legal instruments for their protection, including compensation for victims. For children in conflict with the law, the law reinforces the importance of the juvenile justice system meaning that children accused of petty crime, particularly children living on the streets will no longer be unnecessarily detained.”

“The confirmation that everyone under the age of 18 years is legally a child must stimulate action to ensure that existing laws on child labour and child marriage are strictly adhered to”, said  Save the Children Country Director, Michael McGrath. “Bangladeshi law clearly states that children may only work in specified occupations, for a limited number of hours per day, and then only if they are more than 15 years of age.”

To realise the full potential of the new law, both UNICEF and Save the Children look forward to the law being put into force by the different government agencies; dissemination of the new law to all concerned professional groups and support for the establishment and functioning of the Child Friendly Police Help Desk, Children’s Court, and Child Welfare Board.


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