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Campaign against child marriage launched

Staff Reporter:

The Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, with the support of UNICEF yesterday launched the ‘Na-tional Multimedia Campaign on Prevention of Violence Against Children (VAC) and Child Marriage (CM)’.
The initiative is a part of the ongoing efforts for Accelerating Protection for Children (APC) Project led by the ministry and UNICEF to address the alarming prevalence of violence against children and child marriage in Bangladesh, said a release here.
The project is focused on strengthening institutional capacity and establishing a system for child protec-tion at national and grassroots level.
State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Simeen Hussain (Rimi) addressed the programme as the chief guest.
In her address, Rimi said it is a pivotal moment in our ongoing mission to protect the rights and dignity of children in Bangladesh.
She said, violence against children and child marriage is not only violates their fundamental rights but also has enduring detrimental effects on their physical, emotional, and psychological well-being.
The government is committed to working hand in hand with UNICEF and other stakeholders to eradicate these harmful practices and create a safe and nurturing environment for all children, she said.
Supported with funding from the European Union and the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), the campaign is aligned with the National Children’s Policy to uphold the rights of children and the National Action Plan (NAP) to eliminate child marriage in Bangladesh by 2041.
Address the function UNICEF Bangladesh Representative Emma Brigham said the campaign underscores our unwavering dedication to empower communities to champion child protection.
She urged all to call Child Helpline 1098, the toll-free nationwide number, providing counselling and referrals to protection, legal aid, shelter, health, and education services.
According to 2019 survey almost 9 out of 10 children aged between 1 to 14 years have encountered physical violence and psychological aggression within their homes, the release said adding Bangladesh ranks among the top 10 countries globally with over half of girls married before becoming 18, one out of four girls have given birth before the age of 18 and eight girls out of 10 have given birth before reaching the age 20.
The campaign will provide a comprehensive approach to facilitate behavioral change through Public Service Announcement (PSA) and initiate a social movement against violence and child marriage, the press release said.

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