Dhaka, Dec 11 (UNB) - The European Union has contributed over US$ 690,000 to support UNICEF’s work to protect the rights of children affected by migration in Bangladesh.
The contribution will directly reach an estimated 12,000 children over the next three years who are migrating or have been forcibly displaced within their own countries or across borders, said UNICEF on Tuesday.
Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European Union to Bangladesh, Rensje Teerink said all children, regardless of their migration status, must be protected.
"We have to ensure their access to education, healthcare and sanitation, social and legal services, and psychological support. And this is what the EU is committed to do. In cooperation with partners like UNICEF, we help Bangladesh to strengthen its national child protection system – in order to ensure that no child is left behind," she said.
The programme is being implemented across multiple regions of UNICEF operations in Southeast, South and Central Asia and will also reach children affected by migration including children left behind by parents or caregivers who have migrated often in search of better economic opportunities to support their families.
In Bangladesh, the project will focus on issues of internal and cross border migration of children including children who are at risk or survivors of trafficking.
It is expected that many more children will benefit through policy changes that will strengthen child protection systems.
According to official estimates, there is evidence of Bangladeshi children and women been trafficked from Bangladesh to India.
Bangladesh Government reported around 5000 of Bangladeshis who have been identified in 2014 and 2015 in India and the Middle East. Bangladesh is also hosting a large number of Rohingya population that entered into Bangladesh to escape from persecution by the Myanmar government in Rakhain state of Mayanmar.
Since August 2017, some 605,000 people have crossed the border into Bangladesh from Myanmar and as many as 60 percent of these are children.
Many of these children have been separated from their parents and are at risk of trafficking, according to UNICEF.
Internal migration of children is also very high in Bangladesh.
Around 600, 000 street children are living in the street of which 380,000 are between the ages of 5 and 14.
“Poverty, physical or sexual abuse, and peer influence are the three major factors that push children to migrate from rural to urban areas and to further risk of trafficking. These children are deprived of essential services,” said Edouard Beigbeder, Representative, UNICEF Bangladesh.
“UNICEF has always been there with its partners to ensure essential services to these most vulnerable children. Thanks to the European Union for this generous contribution, which will help to better protect children on the move.”
With EU’s contribution UNICEF will strengthen national child protection systems by training professionals and government authorities to identify, refer and assist vulnerable children affected by migration.
This work includes ensuring children and families have access to social assistance, legal aid, psychosocial support, counselling and birth registration.
Children will also be given access to health care and education.
UNICEF will work with authorities to ensure children are never placed in detention for migration-related reasons, and strengthen alternative care options, such as foster care and kinship care, for those who are deprived of parental care or are unaccompanied.
The programme will help address issues related to child statelessness by enhancing policies and procedures, while establishing and strengthening systems for sharing information on family tracing and reunification across borders.
The new programme, according to UNICEF, will also help gather data and evidence, from multiple regions where the project is being implemented, to better understand who and how many children are affected by migration, and develop information systems to monitor the services provided to them.
Dhaka, Dec 11 (UNB) - The European Commission has released an additional €5 million to provide life-saving food assistance to the Rohingya communities living in Cox's Bazar district.
This comes on top of the €40 million in humanitarian aid announced in May in response to the crisis.
“Today's additional funding is another clear sign that the EU remains committed to stand by the side of the Rohingya for as long as it takes. Food assistance is an absolute necessity, and we will continue to support both Rohingya refugees and host communities in Bangladesh throughout this crisis,” said Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides.
Hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas in Cox's Bazar district rely entirely on humanitarian aid for their survival.
The additional EU funding will provide urgently needed food assistance to refugees, while ensuring access to food throughout the camps, makeshift settlements and host communities, said the European Union.
Following major outbreaks of violence in Myanmar in August 2017, over 700,000 Rohingyas have crossed the border into Bangladesh.
This massive displacement has entered its second year, in what has become a protracted crisis with severe humanitarian consequences.
Vulnerabilities continue to grow as exposure to natural hazards and the congestion of the refugee camps pose enormous strains on displaced communities, said the EU.
Since 2017, the European Commission has allocated almost €115 million to the Rohingya refugees and host communities in Bangladesh, including €30 million announced during the Pledging Conference on the Rohingya Refugee Crisis, which the EU co-hosted in October 2017.
The European Commission has funded relief programmes in Cox's Bazar District of Bangladesh since 1994.
The EU humanitarian relief focuses on food assistance, nutritional support, clean water and sanitation facilities, access to health care services, as well as increased protection for the most vulnerable groups.
Dhaka, Dec 11 (UNB) - Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s proposal of UN Global Compact on Migration has been adopted in Marrakech, Morocco, said the Foreign Ministry here on Tuesday.
A Bangladesh delegation led by the Foreign Secretary Ambassador Md Shahidul Haque is attending the UN Summit for adoption of the Global Compact for Migration in Morocco.
The delegation also includes Ambassador M Shameem Ahsan, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN offices in Geneva, Ambassador Masud Bin Momen, Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the UN, Rownaq Jahan, Secretary, Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment, Munirus Salehin, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment and Sultana Laila Hossain, Ambassador of Bangladesh to Morocco.
In Marrakech, the delegation attended the 11th Global Forum on Migration and Development hosted by Morocco, an event organised by Platform for Disaster Displacement (PDD) and a multi-stakeholder breakfast meeting organised by Bangladesh Mission in Morocco.
Foreign Secretary Haque delivered the national statement at the Plenary meeting of the Intergovernmental Conference of UN to Adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.
In the statement, he recalled the proposal for the Global Compact for migration made by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in her address at the UNGA in 2016.
The Compact was adopted at Marrakech to which Bangladesh affirmed full support and to its implementation.
The Bangladesh delegation spent busy days in Marrakech.
Foreign Secretary Haque participated in a panel on climate change and mobility organized by UNEP and an event on PDD hosted by France.
He also chaired Dialogue 2 Session on ‘Partnership and innovative initiatives for the way forward’of the Intergovernmental Conference of UN to Adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.
Bangladesh Permanent Representative M. Shameem Ahsan chaired an event on ‘People on the move in the context of Disaster and climate change: addressing their assistance and protection needs in the Global Compact for migration’, organized by Bangladesh, IOM, UNHCR and PDD.
He also chaired GFMD’s Roundtable 3.1 on ‘Aligning governance with contemporary drivers of migration’.
Bangladesh Embassy in Morocco arranged a multi-stakeholder breakfast meeting on 9th December 2018 attended by international migration experts, representatives from the UN Member states including EU, UN agencies, Civil Society and think tanks to exchange views on the implementation aspect of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.
Foreign Secretary briefed the audience on how Bangladesh looks at the newly adopted Global Compact and challenges of implementation.
He also mentioned about Bangladesh’s initiative in framing a draft national strategy on migration governance to address migration in all its forms and manifestations.
Foreign Secretary described this as a reflection of Bangladesh’s strong political willingness for implementing the actionable commitments of the Global Compact.
At the invitation of UNEP, Foreign Secretary participated as a panelist in an event on “Addressing natural disasters, adverse effects of climate change and environmental degradation – solution for human mobility and human security”.
He eloquently presented the multifaceted challenges of climate change and environmental degradation faced in recent time by Bangladesh and other climate vulnerable countries.
He highlighted someinnovative adaptation processes developed by the local inhabitants as a manifestation of their social resilience.
Director General of IOM Antonio Vittorini, UN High-Commissioner for Refugees Philippo Grandi, High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachellet, Minister of Tuvalu, Director of UNEP also attended the event as panelists.
On the margin of the high-level intergovernmental conference to adopt the Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, the President of the UN General Assembly Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces met with the Foreign Secretary.
The President of the General Assembly applauded the pioneering role of Bangladesh for mooting the idea of a Global Compact for Migration and championing in women empowerment.
She further praised the visionary leadership and commitment of the Foreign Secretary to work for the collective good.
Foreign Secretary Haque also held a meeting with Director General of IOM Antonio Vittorino to discuss on the future implementation mechanism of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.
EU delegation led by Deputy Secretary General Christian Leffler also met with the Foreign Secretary and discussed various issues of mutual interest.
Dhaka, Dec 10 (UNB) - Heads of Mission of the European Union (EU) and the heads of Mission of Norway and Switzerland here on Monday urged all the political parties to meet their democratic responsibilities and refrain from election violence.
They said participatory elections constitute an important step in the ongoing process of national development for all Bangladeshi citizens and urged law enforcement agencies to strictly adhere to the rule of law.
The diplomats stationed in Dhaka made the call as the formal campaigning period for the upcoming parliamentary elections, scheduled for December 30, begins on Monday.
They also called upon the government, the Election Commission and all stakeholders to ensure a genuine, credible, inclusive and transparent electoral process in Bangladesh, according to a local joint statement on parliamentary elections.
The heads of Mission urged all stakeholders to uphold and protect the citizens' rights to universal suffrage, freedom of expression and right to peaceful assembly and welcome the commitments made by the Bangladesh Election Commission and the government of Bangladesh in this respect.
Media and civil society scrutiny is particularly important in ensuring transparency throughout the process, they said.
Signatories to the local statement are Ambassador, Delegation of the European Union Rensje Teerink, British High Commissioner Alison Blake, Spanish Ambassador D. Álvaro de Salas Giménez de Azcárate, Swedish Ambassador Charlotta Schlyter, Ambassador of France Marie-Annick Bourdin, German Ambassador Peter Fahrenholtz, Dutch Ambassador Harry Verweij, Danish Ambassador Winnie Estrup Petersen, Norwegian Ambassador Sidsel Bleken and Swiss Ambassador Rene Holenstein.
Dhaka, Dec 9 (UNB) - UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called upon all to stand up for human rights for everyone, everywhere saying human rights are universal and eternal.
“Let’s stand up for human rights -- for everyone, everywhere,” he said in a message marking the Human Rights Day that falls on December 10.
For 70 years, the UN chief said, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has been a global beacon - shining a light for dignity, equality and wellbeing and bringing hope to dark places.
“The rights proclaimed in the Declaration apply to everyone -- no matter our race, belief, location or other distinction of any kind,” said Guterres adding, “One cannot pick and choose among civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.”
Today, the UN chief said, they also honour the human rights defenders risking their lives to protect people in the face of rising hatred, racism, intolerance and repression. “Indeed, human rights are under siege around the world.”
He said universal values are being eroded and the rule of law is being undermined.
Meanwhile, German Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Fahrenholtz on Sunday termed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) ‘the most important document produced in the history of mankind’, which “protects the dignity of human across the world”.
UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh Mia Seppo said human rights, films and youth together is a fantastic combination. "Films and art can put spotlight to the issues that needs to be heard.”
They were addressing a panel discussion on promoting and protecting human rights through film and other media celebrating the 70th anniversary of the UDHR in the city.
The discussion was moderated by Associate Editor of Prothom Alo Abdul Quayum.
The United Nations in Bangladesh in association with Dhaka University Film Society (DUFS), with support from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the German government, organised the two-day ‘Human Rights Short Film Festival 2018’ that ended on Sunday at Bangladesh Shishu Academy.
Filmmaker Mostafa Sarwar Farooki, Representative of Bangladesh Human Rights Forum Sanjeeb Drong, filmmaker Aung Rakhine and lifetime member of Dhaka University Film Society (DUFS) Rashedul Hafiz also attended the closing and the award-giving ceremony of the film festival.
The theme of the festival was ‘Finding Bangladesh and South Asia in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 70 years later’.
Farooki stressed giving equal emphasis on protecting everyone’s human rights and said, “When it comes to protection and promotion of human rights, we shouldn’t be selective. We can truly avoid being selective about protecting human rights, we can change society as a filmmaker.”
A total of 735 short films on human rights from 82 countries were submitted for the Human Rights Short Film Festival 2018.
The films that have been screened at Human Rights Short Film Festival 2018 reflect a commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Besides the short film screening, a play on human rights titled ‘We sing equality’ was performed on the festival.