Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has called for ensuring the active participation of the young generation in decision making, policy formulation, planning and implementation to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
At the same time, it has called for eradicating the political criminalisation and corruption in the country and the cessation of arbitrary use of the Digital Security Act and the repeal of controversial clauses of the law.
In a press release on Tuesday, the organisation drew the attention of the government and stakeholders concerned to the theme of this year, "Youth Engagement for Global Action", on the occasion of International Youth Day on August 12.
On this day, TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman called for ensuring that young people can exercise their legal right to express their views and protest without any fear of any kind of inconsistency in the socio-political-economic spheres.
The recruitment process in all public and private sectors should be free from corruption, and equal competition should be ensured on the basis of merit and qualifications, he demanded.
Dr Iftekharuzzaman sought full implementation of the National Youth Policy 2017, and said specific and timely strategies and action plans need to be set, the necessary budget has to be allocated for their implementation, and modern, timely, especially information technology based infrastructure needs to be built.
He called for ensuring effective and meaningful participation and action by youths in tackling global humanitarian catastrophes like the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change.
In addition to financing, young entrepreneurs need to be provided with advice and encouragement, legal aid and market access, and the necessary budget allocations and bank loan conditions and interest rates need to be simplified, demanded the TIB chief.
He said that youths are the main driving force in the anti-corruption social movement in Bangladesh organised by the organisation.
Since 2006, TIB has been conducting various anti-corruption awareness and promotional activities through the Youth Engagement and Support (YES) platform involving youths from colleges and universities.
"The main basis of which is to create awareness among youths about local and national level problems and solutions, and to turn them into agents of social change by ensuring their participation in the decision making process," said Dr Iftekharuzzaman.
He said out of 169 specific SDG goals, 20 have directly addressed the youth.
"In particular, goal number 4, 5 and 8 have clearly given special importance to the youth. Goal 4 calls for ensuring inclusive, quality and lifelong learning opportunities for all; Goal 5 for equal rights for women and empowerment of girls; and Goal 8 aims to encourage inclusive and sustainable economic activities for all to ensure full and productive employment," added the TIB chief.
Then again, SDG 16 pledges a peaceful and inclusive society for sustainable development, access to justice for all, and effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
Dr Iftekharuzzaman said in this case, well-educated, skilled and aware youth and their participation can play the most important role along with other stakeholders involved.
"Therefore, a conducive environment needs to be created for youths to be able to play the role in making decisions, formulating policies and action plans as an active participant in the achievement of SDGs," he added.