Bangladesh government is preparing a proposal for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the Post-2015 UN development agenda which will be submitted to the 68th session of the General Assembly next month.
Child rights organizations worldwide including in Bangladesh want to include child as a goal in post- MDG- 15 as there are 2.2 billion children in the world, and between 500 million and 1.5 billion experience violence every year.
Globally, around 85 million children are involved in hazardous work, one billion children live in countries or territories affected by armed conflicts, 3 out of 4 children experience violent discipline at home, 80 per cent of children living in care institutions have parents who are alive and about 20 per cent of women and 5-10 per cent of men suffered sexual abuse as children. According to UNDP, 15,000 people are trafficked every year, majority of them children.
According to Bangladesh Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey-2006, there are 3.6 billion working children aged between 7 and 14 in the country.
And, there is a total of 6,74,000 street children in Bangladesh engaged in different hazardous work, above 30 lakh people work in ship breaking industry, of whom 40 per cent are children and four lakh children work as domestic help, according to latest data available from Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS).
"Children are not by-product, so they should be incorporated in the sustainable goals. It is not possible to ensure child safety only by indicators as every day children face different types of violence worldwide," said Chandan Z Gomes, advocacy director of World Vision Bangladesh.
"Children are the future, who will lead the world so they should be incorporated in the sustainable goals aimed to ensure rights, safety and development," he told the Daily Observer.
Absence of child labour from the MDG framework is a regrettable omission that needs to be corrected with a sense of urgency if the intent is to achieve the MDGs, child experts say. The governments are now negotiating the Post-2015 process and they are calling for actions to `evaluate and review the MDGs but have no specific plan to raise voice to have a specific goal only for children in the upcoming UN Session.
The national proposal of Bangladesh for post- 2015 Development Agenda contains 11 goals, 58 targets and 241 indicators and nine of the goals are common with the proposal of High Panel of Eminent Person on the Post- 2015 Development Agenda and Open Working Group established by United Nation General Assembly.
The common goals are Poverty, Gender Equality, Food Security and Nutrition, Healthy Lives, Quality Education, Productive Employment, Good Governance, Environmental Sustainability, and Global Partnership.
Apart from the nine goals, Bangladesh may also suggest to incorporate the issue of disaster management, governance, people with special needs, reproductive health, equitable growth, safe food, research and innovation and sustainable urbanization in the targets of related goals of post- 2015 Development Agenda.
The government has prepared 'Vision 2021' -- a long term perspective plan in aspiration to become a middle income country by 2021, the
vision is being implemented by two successive five-year plan, 6th and 7th. The terminal year of MDGs and sixth five-year plan coincides, hence all the goals and targets of MDGs have been incorporated in the 6th five year plan to be implemented by the concerned ministries or divisions or agencies of the government.
The targets and indicators of Post- 2015 Development goals should be to be specific, measurable, available, achievable in a cost effective way, relevant to the programme and available in a timely manner (SMART), said Prof Dr Shamsul Alam, member of General Economic Division of Planning Commission.
"Once the Post- 2015 Development Goals are finalized by the UN, the relevant targets and indicators suitable for our country with baseline data and end figures will have to be developed in consultation with relevant stakeholders," he said.