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Overview of NGOs in Bangladesh working for Children of Sex-workers

One of the most horrendous violations of child rights is sexual exploitation. While several categories of children are in the grip of physical and social disadvantages, the children of commercial sex workers fall easy prey to those who surround them and abuse them. They are not only marginalized but receive scant attention of society (Anandraj, Hannah. 1999).

Child sexual abuse, exploitation and trafficking remain largely taboo in Bangladesh society. Often disabled children and girls are more vulnerable. Human trafficking in Bangladesh is believed to be extensive both within the country and to India, Pakistan and the Middle East.  Reintegration into mainstream society is a huge issue for trafficked children, especially for girls with the stigma and taboo associated with it.

A major underlying issue behind child sexual abuse, exploitation and trafficking is that there is a massive lacking of knowledge about legal rights of children among the mass people. People even don’t know the application or exercise of child rights. In Bangladesh there is no proper use of child right that’s why children are often unaware of their legal rights, or they are made to feel they cannot exercise those rights.

Child sexual abuse permeates all levels of Bangladeshi society.  Most children know their abuser, who is usually someone close to them. Isolated or impoverished regions are also more attractive to gangs of traffickers because it is both harder for parents to seek law enforcement but also easier to sell the idea of "lucrative jobs" to impoverished parents.
Commercial child sexual exploitation
Child sexual exploitation can start when children are as young as 10 in Bangladesh's registered brothels, its hotels and its parks, streets and stations. Children of women who work in a brothel often end up working there too. Most often female or male children of sex-workers are at the risk of massive exploitation. In brothels, many children have to work as bonded sex workers. They must pay all their earnings to the brothel's madam for their first few years in return for food, clothes and essentials. Child victims of commercial sexual exploitation can also end up in brothels or on the streets through trafficking, family break-downs or poverty. On the streets, many children are beaten and robbed. Many boys are drawn into crime through their pimps. Men having sex with men (MSM) is a growing and hidden issue but often not acknowledged due to the stigma or shame attached to it.

UNICEF AND CSW(Children of Sex Workers)
 UNICEF Bangladesh is working to create a culture of respect for children's protection rights through development of child rights based and gender appropriate policies, advocacy, a change of societal attitudes, strengthened capacity in government and civil society responses to protection issues and the establishment of protective mechanisms against abuse exploitation and violence(source:UNICEF).
UNICEF works to enhance the life skills of children at risk. Thus they are empowering children. It has undertaken an action research project to address the rights violations of the slum children, especially girls, and to empower them to fight for their rights (source:UNICEF).
Research, networking and advocacy take on an important role when viewed through the cultural taboos associated with child sexual abuse, exploitation and trafficking. Thus they make links among various protection tools and they goes through reintegration process tracing the children’s families. It’s another attention is to remove violence against children working group (source:UNICEF).

UNICEF is supporting the development and strengthening of practical mechanisms to rescue, recover, repatriate and reintegrate (RRRR) child victims of trafficking from Bangladesh to India. A Rapid Assessment of existing practices and mechanisms of RRRR have been conducted in both countries which highlighted the gaps and challenges of the whole process. The first inter- ministerial bilateral meeting was held in 2006, with technical support from UNICEF country offices and the regional office, to develop a common understanding between the countries and agree upon a way forward. As a follow up a draft action plan on RRRR in both countries is being developed (source: UNICEF).

In 2006 Kishori Abhijan (Empowerment of Adolescents, Phase II) started with a new dimension based on the lessons learnt from Phase I of the project. In this phase adolescent boys were included and to date 2462 boys have received training on various social issues including gender awareness. 2860 adolescent centers in 27 districts are operational and managed by 5000 peer leaders. 86,000 girls have increased their mobility through participation in different activities with their families and communities. 575 community base committees to stop child marriage and dowry formed and will soon be functional (source: UNICEF).

SAVE THE CHILDREN AND CSW(Children of Sex Workers)
 For more than a decade, Save the Children has been protecting children from abuse, neglect, exploitation, and violence in all regions of the world. It’s programs focus on the most vulnerable children while aiming for the safety and well-being of all children. Working with governments, international organizations, and local community partners, we strive to create lasting change with improvements in policy and services that protect children whether in a natural disaster, conflict, or development setting (source: Save The Children).

Save The Children works to protect children from abuse and exploitation in any kind of emergencies. Their primary goal is to create child friendly spaces by ensuring psychological support and finally they tried to reunify families. They also use research in creative ways to protect children and support children through training according to public policies. Their aim is to ensure quality care of children. They provide quality non-formal education to mainstream children with disabilities. They also support and save the children (source: Save The Children).

KKS and Save The Children jointly stablished a safe home and started with 5 children scince february 24,1997 at Daulotdia, Rajbari. It provides shelter, food, education, medical treatment, dress, HRM training, multi-deciplinary training, computer literacy, religious practice and various cultural attainment etc(source:Save The Children).
The 9th Child parliament session on ‘Health Care and Governance' was held on 18th December 2011 at BIAM Auditorium, Dhaka. Prof. (Dr.) Syed Modasser Ali, Honorable Advisor to the Prime Minister for Health & Family Welfare and Social Welfare Affairs, was present as the Honorable Chief Guest.
Around 80 child parliamentarians including representatives from socially excluded groups of children attended the session. Representatives from NGOs/ CSOs and media were also present in the session. The session was jointly organized by Manusher Jonno Foundation, Plan Bangladesh and Save the Children (source:Save The Children).
The Child Parliament members raised different issues regarding health care including the variance of fees charged by doctors, unhygienic health care centers, lack of access to quality health services of marginalized children and others. They also presented some recommendations which focused on government having proper guidelines for the fees doctors can charge, ensuring clean and hygienic health centers and providing quality health services for all(source:Save The Children).

The Honorable Chief Guest gave a patient hearing to the child parliamentarians' issues and recommendations and said that he had learnt a lot by coming to the session. He said that whatever the children were saying were their ‘rights' and not ‘privileges'. He was highly impressed by the evidence-based points the children raised and invited them to the Prime Minister's Office on 19th December 2011 to discuss further with them
(source:Save The Children).

Aparajeyo Bangladesh AND CSW(Children of Sex Workers)
Aparajeyo-Bangladesh (AB) is a national child rights organization. It was founded in 1995 when terre des homes Foundation Lausanne, Switzerland (Tdh) sought to devolve their Dhaka child rights programs to a local organization. The organization commenced activities in 1976, working with children living in and around the slums of Dhaka city.   Its goal was to reduce their unbearable poverty, distress and vulnerability caused by the harshness of slum life. In 1989, another program commenced to provide services to children who live on the city streets or amongst its public buildings. Over the years, aparajeyo has expanded its support to promote and protect the rights of other socially excluded children (source:Aparajeyo Bangladesh).
Aparajeyo Bangladesh started working with these ill-fated children of sex-workers since 2002. AB ensures their educational support, cultural development, job opportunities to mainstream them in the society. AB ensured all types of educational system for these children from day care to nursery level, as well as primary, secondary level too. Children are given to different school. Every year some of these children pass S.S.C. and H.S.C successfully. AB also provides them cultural education and arranged cultural program in different places of town. AB also arranged multi-purpose technical education that helps them to get different job. Thus they are trying to mainstream these children in our society (source: Aparajeyo Bangladesh).

Aparajeyo is a non-government and non-profit organization that was solely founded to provide a range of services to socially excluded children in the urban settings in Bangladesh. Through its programmes and projects, AB provides a range of rights-based services to children through a holistic approach.   AB’s work with children complies with the United Nations Child Rights Convention (UNCRC). AB believes that childhood means much more than the space between birth and the attainment of adulthood, Childhood refers to the state and condition of a child’s life – to the quality of those years. AB recognizes that children are the holders of their own rights. And because these rights are invested in the child’s own person, the child is no longer a passive recipient of charity but an empowered actor in her/his own development. The organization emphasizes the need to respect children’s ‘evolving capacities.’ All programmes are expected to create spaces and promote processes designed to enable and empower children to express their views, to be consulted and to influence decisions in all matters affecting them in accordance with their age and development(source:Aparajeyo Bangladesh).

Since its adoption in 1989, the Convention has become the most widely accepted human rights accord in history. Its principles guide all that AB does in Bangladesh. We speak out for the rights of every child in villages and border areas where communities are illiterate. We defend child rights in towns and divisional cities. We stand up for them in the capital where policy makers decide on laws, approve budgets and plan for the future of children.   AB champions peace, security and the articles enshrined within the UNCRC to promote and protect the rights of children. We work towards complimenting the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). We work for equal rights for girls and women and their participation in community development. We work for the progress promised in the Charter of the United Nations (source:Aparajeyo Bangladesh).  

PIACT AND CSW(Children of Sex Workers)

Being motivate by the concept of social resposibility and with expectation of aiding, PIACT Bangladesh starts its journey since 1980. PIACT Bangladesh is a non-profit, non-governmental organization committed to the welfare of the people of Bangladesh through resolute and concerted efforts in reproductive health, nutrition services, prevention of HIV/AIDS and STD, training, education, poverty alleviation, development of socially disadvantaged women and children, BCC activities, applying information technology in the relevant fields and addressing the emerging needs of social development over time. Its vision is to establish a society where people of all strata, particularly the disadvantaged and marginalized, have access to primary health care, basic education,  and are empowered to enjoy basic human and social rights(source:PIACT).

Under the patronization of Ministry of Social Welfare, PIACT Bangladesh starts its operation since 2000 with a purpose of improving the livelihood of the prostitutes and their children residing in the brothel at Dowlatdia union of Goalondo upazila of Rajbari district. One major point of humanitarian activities of PIACT Bangladesh is to prevent the under aged girls from being engaged into this profession by rescuing and rehabilitating them. PIACT Bangladesh is conducting life skills development based educational activities inside the brothel to make awareness among the prostitutes about rights and improve their livelihood so that they can change the view of life in terms of rights (source:PIACT).

It implements programs for increasing the literacy rates, particularly among the economically and socially disadvantaged groups of the population like CSW (source:PIACT).

Another important task of PIACT Bangladesh is to prevent under-aged girls trafficking, preventing them from being engaged into this profession, recuing and rehabilitating them. One prominent objective of PIACT Bangladesh is to socialize prostitutes. By creating opportunity of mixing with civil society, PIACT Bangladesh arranges various social programs, holds rally in presence of civil society and prostitutes on regular basis (source:PIACT).