Rights activists at a consultation in the Barisal called for developing an action plan for Children-Centered Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) for the government and actors towards building community resilience.

The speakers emphasized the collaboration between the government and non-government organizations to ensure child-centred adaptation and disaster-risk reduction. Speakers discussed the gaps in different policies and action plans regarding child-centered adaptation. They also mentioned that climate change is affecting child rights such as education, health, nutrition, sanitation, etc.

They made these suggestions while addressing a day-long consultation workshop on Child-Centred Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction at Hotel Grand Park, Barisal, on Monday, 13 March 2017.

The workshop was organised by Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS) in collaboration with the UNICEF. Divisional Commissioner of Barisal Md Gaus inaugurated it as chief guest.

"Children are neglected in the society, organisations and even in the family and impact of disaster on children is huge as it affects their education, protection, health, food, and mental development", said Divisional Commissioner Md Gaus.

Children demand the main focus of the government, he added.

"Terming the children, who comprise about 22% of our population, as the more vulnerable, we need to reduce the vulnerability of children of the poor and socially disadvantaged and making them active citizen of the country. We need special protection plan for disaster-affected children for costal area,” said Dr Dwijen Mollick, an expert on child-related issues and a fellow of BCAS, while presenting his keynote paper.

AH Towfique Ahmed, Divisional Chief of UNICEF Barisal elucidated the importance of the field level information to develop an action plan to address the child-centered CCA and DRR. He also explained the objective of the workshop which is taking suggestions from the participants to develop an action plan to address child-centered adaptation and disaster risk reduction. 

Goverment officials, experts, media workers, YouthNet for Climate Justice and representatives from different government offices, NGOs and INGOs took part in the workshop to give input to develop the action plan which moderated by Omor Tarek Chowdhury, a fellow of BCAS.

Child Rights Activist Sohanur Rahman, Co-coordinator of YouthNet for Climate justice stressed that, “We need to design and implement livelihood support programmes for the communities at risk, particularly the poor and their children. More emphasis should be given on children’s vulnerability and their adaptation needs and priorities. Act to adopt: we are influencing national policy, practice and promotion of the Hyogo Framework of Action through evidence-based youth led advocacy.”

Download the presentation here.

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