Children in the Socio-Cultural Context of Bangladesh
8 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2010
Date Written: August 26, 2010
Exclusion and inequality are major obstacles on the way toward development. In Bangladesh, inequalities are primarily in terms of gender, ethnicity, disability, or geographical location. Women and children are still considered as dependents and minors. The inequalities are leading to social exclusion of women, children, indigenous communities, and people living in geographically remote and vulnerable places (river islands, coastal areas). They are marginalized and cannot escape from the poverty traps. Children of Bangladesh, who constitute about 50% of the total population of the country, are being ignored as an excluded group in most situations. Bangladesh signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) on August 3, 1990. After almost twenty years, till today children appear to be excluded in the total development thinking. Among the Bangladeshi people, the understanding of the concept “child” is found to be vague. The present paper, in this context, using literature review, informal discussion and observation aims (1) to reveal the meaning of the word “child” in the socio-cultural context of Bangladesh; (2) to explore the situation of children (girl/ boy, without parents, disable, working, etc.) of different socio- cultural context (i.e. urban/rural, poor/non-poor), children with disability and also about children living in rural and urban context; and (3) to identify the obstacles on the way to implement the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in Bangladesh. Rural communities of Gaibandha, Kurigram, Nilfamari, Shariatpur, Rajbari, Borguna and Potuakhali districts, and urban communities of Dhaka, Chitagong and ethnic communities in Mymensingh and Netrokona districts were considered in this regard. The vagueness is identified in this article through revealing inconsistency in the available legislation government documents and other relevant documents. The secondary literature review leaded to the understanding that the major obstacle on the way to implement the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in Bangladesh is the vagueness of the concept ‘child”. The importance of the socio-cultural considerations with regard to children in this context, is established through field findings in this paper. It is near 20 years that Bangladesh ratified the UNCRC, yet many children who have grown up within the lifetime of the CRC have now ended their childhood years knowing little or nothing of what it is to have the protection and freedoms mentioned in their rights. This paper identifies and discusses about the obstacles on the way to implement the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).
Keywords: Development, inclusive development children in Bangladesh, United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation