Meeting members of parliament from eight South Asian nations, a group of school boys and girls have expressed their concern at sexual harrassment affecting the children.
The children’s representatives, taking part in a session on Thursday, demanded stern actions to stop incidents of violence faced by the children in the workplace.
“How will you address suffering of the children of the street, who are often seen begging for foods?” one of them, Mohini (single name), asked the MPs.
In response, the lawmakers observed that since the children do not have voting right, their voice should be heard through proper platforms to safeguard them and promote their interests.
Around 350 students of different schools around the country joined ‘The South Asia Parliamentarian Platform for Children’ - a two-day session which was organised by UNICEF at a city hotel and attended by 36 MPs from eight countries of South Asia.
The UN body on children is planning to hold three child parliament sessions every year so that they can share their problems and aspirations with the MPs, officials said.
Edourard Beigbeder, UNICEF’s country representative, insisted that the lawmakers should engage them more in matters relating to children for the sake of sustainable development of their respective countries.
Muntaha Rahman, another child participant, asked the Indian MPs how India was addressing rising incidents of rape and child molestation.
The MPs emphasised the need for increasing investment in children around the region.
Deputy speaker of Jatiya Sangsad (national assembly) Fazle Rabbi Miah said South Asian governments should increase budgetary allocation for their “future leaders”.
Indian MP Heena Gavit, Pakistan’s senator Meher Taj Roghani, Nepal’s MP Pushpa Bhusal, Afghanistan’s Ruqia Nayel, The Maldives’s Umar Hossain, Sri Lanka’s Louise Moreira Daniels, and Bhutan’s Dechen Zam also spoke there.