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Bangladesh urged to enshrine child rights in broadcast law

Monday 19 Dec 2011
Bangladesh’s new broadcasting law should be revised to ensure children’s participation in the mass media according to articles in the United Nations Convention of the Rights of a Child (UNCRC), delegates at a Dhaka conference have heard, RapidTVNews reports.

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“A comprehensive child-sensitive broadcast media policy is needed to ensure children’s rights and participation in the mass media,” said Member of Parliament Mohammed Rafiqul Islam, addressing the roundtable on Thursday.

“I’ll raise the issue (of a child-friendly broadcasting policy) in the coming parliamentary session,” he added.

The keynote paper, presented by media and communication policy academic Shameem Reza, was based on a study supported by Save the Children. It covered existing laws, policies and regulation related to broadcast media and analysed relevant areas in light of child rights, said the Financial Express.
Mr Reza said Bangladesh’s laws or policies should guarantee children protection from any media intrusion and to ensure any child’s portrayal in the media is done with dignity.

As an UNCRC signatory nation, Bangladesh is responsible for ensuring childrens’ right to information according to the Article 17, which is important for cognitive development, said Birgit Lundbak, Deputy Director of Child Rights Governance, Save the Children.
Eight recommendations on improvements to broadcasting law and policy were put forward for the government to consider.

The conference, jointly organised by Nari Maitree and Save the Children and held at Dhaka Reporters Unity, was called “Analysing Broadcast Media Policies in the light of Child Rights”.