Child Rights week in Bangladesh is celebrated every year in October to recognize human rights for children in Bangladesh. Along with the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs (MoWCA), every year ActionAid Bangladesh observes the week with different activities at the national and local levels.
Like previous years, ActionAid Bangladesh has collaborated on child rights week with partner organizations in organizing different events and activities in its various intervention areas across Bangladesh with children. As a part of that on 1st October 2022, a football tournament has been organized by AAB for the girl children of urban slum areas. With the tournament, AAB took steps towards using sports as a tool for advocacy in promoting its mandate of Child rights and breaking the gender norms. 120 children from three LRPs joined the programme whereas around 300 local people, parents, and youth members were also present there. Child Rights Week will be celebrated throughout LRP throughout the week. Which is a continuous advocacy initiative to ensure children's well-being and psychosocial development and realization of rights
During the event, chief guest Dr. Sheikh Muslima Moon, Deputy Secretary from Ministry of Information & Broadcasting; special guest Rumana Yasmin Ferdausi, Deputy Secretary from Ministry of Law, Justice & Parliamentary Affairs; representation from local govt; Farah Kabir Country Director of ActionAid Bangladesh and another management team from Partner organizations, local ward councilors were also present and learned experiences and shared their words with children.
The programme started with the girl’s football tournament between the children from LRP 49 (Mirpur) and LRP 51 (Chanpara). Then children from LRP 49, 51, and 55 also presented a cultural programme including dance, rhymes, and singing. The children performed a stage play aimed at preventing child marriage which was very meaningful to all. Winners of the tournaments were rewarded by the guests and both the champion team and runner-up team received their cups.
Sreeti, a child from LRP 51 who played as a football player shared “sports have a unique power that I realizes after participating in this tournament. I never thought that we as a girl going to get such an opportunity to play football with a team from another community. It was a great experience for us also it gives us courage that we can do everything if we wish to do”
Sport fosters solidarity and respect for all and plays a very important role as a tool to promote gender equality and empower girls. The tournament also aims to attract attention to the social problems and gender inequalities experienced by girls through social attitudes. During the session, children were sensitized on what their rights are and what they should do if they are violated. Participants including children and community people took pledges to ensure that ‘Every Last Child’ in their area gets to enjoy their rights.