The issue of children's protection should be considered a priority while taking steps to curb the spread of the coronavirus, said National Action and Coordination Group (NACG), Bangladesh – a civil society platform of Saarc – through a statement yesterday.
Many children such as street and unaccompanied ones are unable to be united with their families and thus are exposed to greater risks, reads the statement signed by AKM Masud Ali, the chair of NACG, Bangladesh.
The NACG said those children need to be registered by the local authorities as a priority and then be extended with protection care at temporary safe shelters.
The government needs to establish and run such shelters by involving NACG members, other non-government organizations and businesses. Effective engagement and cooperation of the trade unions and business bodies are also required in this regard, according to the statement.
Instead of spreading fear among tender minds, steps should be taken towards making the children aware of and able to follow the government directives on wearing masks, washing hands and staying indoors, etc.
For children, separate and special provisions must be created within the healthcare system, adds the statement.
It urges families, communities and the government to work together to ensure the physical and psychosocial health of all children.
The country's progress as a middle-income economy can only be sustained if its future generation is protected. Hence, all efforts targeting the coronavirus need to be child-friendly and child-focused.
NACG is also mandated to address violence against children in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) region.