135.DFP produced a 25-minute film combining various health messages and also developed another film on arsenic mitigation. BSS is also producing features on development issues relating to children and women. The PID gave cartoons a new dimension by incorporating important messages on child marriage.
136.Both print and electronic media ventured out of the conventional studio-based formats towards community-based, participatory and interactive programmes to promote children’s participation in media. International Children’s Day of Broadcasting (ICDB) is observed regularly and feature programmes produced by children in Bangladesh Television and Bangladesh Betar (radio). An innovative launch of the State of the World’s Children 2003 report was marked by stimulating intergenerational dialogue on the importance of children’s participation in decisions that affect their life. The launch brought adult and children together in a panel discussion in which adolescents shared their practical experiences from being involved in child-centred initiatives.
137.Interaction with children and young people on issues like poor sanitation and HIV/AIDS helped to get their views on important subjects. BTV gives children opportunity to articulate their views on issues that have a direct impact on their lives. Some private satellite television channels, telecast programmes produced by young children with technical support of the channels. However, all the channels regularly air children’s programmes.
E. Freedom of thought, conscience and religion
138.Citizens’ rights to freedom of thought and conscience are guaranteed in the Constitution and also respected in practice.
139.The fundamental right of citizens to profess and practise any religion, subject to law, public order and morality, is recognized by the Constitution. The Constitution reflects the existence of and a tolerance towards different religions in the country. The Muslims constitute the majority population in the country. The constitution ensures the right to practice rituals of all religions in peace and harmony.
140.Pursuant to the spirit of the Constitution there is a provision that exempts students from the obligation to receive religious instruction or attend or take part in any religious ceremony or worship that relates to a religion other than their own. The Government’s policy on this issue is to arrange separate religious studies classes for children from different religions in primary and secondary schools. Teachers’ training includes curriculum of all four major religions.
141.The sanctity of all religions (including places of worship, sacred objects and religious ceremonies) is preserved under a series of provisions in the Penal Code which impose criminal sanctions for insulting the religion or wounding/outraging the religious feelings of any community through certain specified acts.
F. Freedom of association and peaceful assembly
142.Bangladesh has a large number of children’s and youth organizations. They are located throughout the country, the largest having as many as 500 branches. Many children’s organizations pursue programmes aimed at promoting the all-round development of children,