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123.With the increased awareness programme, advocacy campaigns and training of teachers, community leaders (including Imams) all forms of corporal punishment in the family, schools and institutions are found to be decreasing. This is revealed in Consultation Meetings including those of children. This shows that an effective awareness-building process is on. Some NGOs have come forward with the programme of salish with emphasis on ensuring justice for the women and children in particular as well as modernizing this traditional system.

B.  Name and nationality

124.The Births and Deaths Registration Act was passed in December 2004 and entered into force on 3 July 2006. The Birth and Death Registration Act 1873, and the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act of 1886 were repealed. The new Act requires the birth certificate as a proof of age for services that directly affect child rights, including enrolment in educational institutes, marriage registration and transfer of property, as well as other services. This factor together with the requirement of the birth certificate for certain services is expected to create a high demand for birth registration. The registration will help achieving as many as 16 benefits.

125.Following the Act, the government adopted corresponding Birth and Death Registration Rules for the different administrative levels, namely, Union Parishad (Council), Pourashava (Municipality), City Corporation, Cantonment Boards and Embassies/High Commissions of Bangladesh abroad.

126.The year 2005 has also witnessed some pilot interventions aimed at linking birth registration to health and education sectors, confirming that only by adopting an inter-sectoral strategy the country will be able to register a significant number of children, ensure that they receive their birth certificates and that the certificate is used when accessing other services. The Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives (MoLGRD&C) with support of UNICEF is implementing the birth registration activities nationwide. A good number of NGOs and Forums are being increasingly involved in the process. Some public hospitals such as Combined Military Hospital (Cantonment Board) are practicing registration of children without fail. To meet the expected demand created by this new Act, training was provided to all 64 district officials. In addition, administrative and communication materials were developed and distributed to all districts for accelerating the activity. 6 July has been declared as Birth Registration Day. In the recent months, the registration performance is improving.

C.  Preservation of identity

127.Bangladeshi nationality can be acquired by birth, descent, migration or naturalization. A child’s nationality is based on the nationality of his or her father. Prevailing law also does not allow children with a Bangladeshi mother and a non-Bangladeshi father who were not born in Bangladesh from acquiring their mother’s rather than their father’s nationality and from acquiring dual nationality.

128.Previously only father’s name would suffice, but now-a-days wherever applicable (or deemed necessary) writing both the parents names are mandatory.

129.Bangladesh is not a party to any international or regional refugee instruments, nor does it have any legislative or administrative provisions for political asylum-seekers. However, there

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