Children are the dearest assets of a country. However, despite different initiatives and laws, child rights, protection, and safety of children are not yet achieved. Hence, to enhance the status of the rights of children, every year the Ministry of Women and Child Affairs and Bangladesh Shishu Academy celebrate Child Rights Week all over the country. This year, during the timeline of 04 to 11 October 2022 is declared as the dedicated week for child rights. 

Along with the government and like-minded organizations, as like as previous years, ActionAid Bangladesh (AAB) also takes different initiatives to observe this week at the community level with the active participation of children. With the support of AAB, children from 11 working areas in 11 districts celebrate this week with child-focused fun activities and child-friendly discussions. Furthermore, to highlight the rights of girl children, an online debate competition was arranged for the children. After a grassroots competition at local levels, 24 children in eight groups from the working areas of the 08 Local Rights Programme (LRP) took part in the Quarter Final Round online debate competition on 03 October 2022. Gradually to celebrate the day of National Girl Child Day on 04th October 2022, children participated in a Semi-Final Round online debate competition and talked about the rights of girl children where a total of 12 children from 04 LRPs participated in this online debate competition and two teams emerged victorious for the Final Round.

Finally, on International Day of the Girl Child on 11th October 2022, children from Biswambarpur and Kurigram partook in Final Round and highlighted the necessity to stop child marriage to ensure the rights of a girl child. 

Al Amin (15) a debater from Biswambarpur shared that “Participating in the online debate competition allows me to learn about child rights and child marriage comprehensively. Many children from different areas of Bangladesh take part in this competition and I think this participation gives us the chance to be confident and how to present something logically. As well it also teaches us that whether we win the competition or not we can learn new things. Thank you, ActionAid Bangladesh, to support us and create innovative initiatives and platforms for us”.

Another debater from Kurigram, Shourovi (16) said, “I and my team are very enthusiastic to join in the online debate competition because it gives chance to do debate and learn not only from the children in our community but also the children from other parts of the country. When we took part in this debate competition during the celebration of Child Rights Week, we joined a series of rounds to participate in the final round of the online debate competition. At last, when we were announced as the winning debating team, we became happy and excited; our joy became no bounds. This participation helps my willingness stronger enough to continue my study and to cherish my dream. It gives me strength and confidence to work for my community and to work for my country”.