UNICEF on Wednesday extended its ongoing partnership with the Supreme Court of Bangladesh to strengthen child courts, among other things, for ensuring the best interest of children in conflict with the law.
For this purpose, both the parties extended the existing memorandum of understanding up to December 2019.
The MOU signing ceremony was attended by acting Chief Justice Md Abdul Wahhab Miah, Justice Muhammad Imman Ali, Justice Sheikh Hassan Arif, Supreme Court registrar general in-charge Md Zakir Hossain, UNICEF Bangladesh representative Edouard Beigbeder.
The earlier MOU that was signed in February 2017, expires this month.
Renovation of child courts, building capacity of stakeholders, community engagement, strengthening coordination, increase diversion rates and improving the monitoring of cases will be ensured under the new agreement to promote and protect the interest of children.
The Supreme Court special committee on child rights will also advice, monitor and guide government and non-government stakeholders to realise the rights of children.
The agreement includes three key thematic areas: monitoring implementation of the Children Act 2013 - particularly strengthening access to justice for children; developing an information management system and strengthening alternative care facilities, monitoring and follow up.
‘The Children Act-2013 is a great legal instrument to protect the rights of children. However, its success will mainly depend on effective implementation of the Act, especially to strengthen access to justice for children,’ Edouard Biegbeder said.
He hoped that under the extended agreement, administrative procedures will be set up for child courts, database developed, other monitoring frameworks and digital set-up installed in pilot courts and institutions.
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