442.The Shishu Academy (Academy for Children), an implementation wing of MoWCA, is coordinating with the public and civil society with a mandate to implement the CRC and its Optional Protocols through its cultural/extra curricular activities. A large number national and international NGOs are coordinating with the Government by delivering various services such as health, non-formal education, income-generating activities, creation of livelihood skills, awareness raising, networking, policy advocacy and so on.
B. Involvement of children in armed conflict
443.Bangladesh has signed and ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict (ICAC) on 6 September 2000. The initial report by the State Party on the status of the implementation of the ICAC was submitted on 27 January 2004. The Concluding Observations and Recommendations on the Initial Report of Bangladesh on the Optional Protocol to the CRC (CRC/C/OPAC/BGD/1) at UN Committee’s 1083th meeting held on 9 January, 2006 and adopted at its 1120th meeting, and responses by the State Party to the issues raised by the Committee on the initial report as well as the Concluding Observations dated 27 January, 2006, have been taken into consideration in different sections of this Periodic Report.
444.The State Party reiterates that the minimum age for recruitment and deployment in all branches of law enforcement and defence is in conformity with the Optional Protocol and there is clear government direction in this regard. The Government need not have a separate legislation in this respect.
445.The Government is working towards better coordination of children’s activities and MoWCA has proved this through timely submission of all recent child-related international reports, preparation of the NPA for Children, NPA SEACT, children’s section in the PRSP and National MDG Report, 2005 in a participatory manner. Effective children’s participation was ensured in all these events. NGOs and international organizations have been included in the CRC Standing Committee and this enabled non-government entities to provide inputs into all important processes. Stakeholder participation in major activities is regularly ensured through consultation meetings and workshops.
446.With regard to the consent of parents or legal guardians for the recruitment of under-18, the State Party does not think it is necessary since the actual induction of persons in different forces are done only when the person attains the age of 18. The training period is not considered to be the service period and not a violation of the provisions of the Optional Protocol.
447.The State Party does not believe that there are any major issues around possible military training that children undergo in any part of the country including the “madrasahs”. This is illegal as per the law of the land and the government takes stern actions against anyone found involved in this kind of activities. Recently, the government tried a number of persons involved in these activities and gave the highest punishment, death sentence, to them which was also carried out. The government maintains strict vigilance against any such activities to happen in future.
448.Children who were involved in Chittagong Hill Tracts conflict long ago are all adults by now. Since the CHT Peace Accord was adopted, there is no more insurgency in the area and all