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  • Last Update : 01:40 am

Study: 7 lakh street children need care

  • Published at 07:21 pm February 11th, 2019
WEB-STREET children
File photo Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

The study is part of a project that is working to eliminate commercial sexual exploitation of children in Bangladesh

Around 700,000 street children in Bangladesh are still vulnerable to violence, sexual abuse, hazardous work or trafficking, and rehabilitation of the growing number of such children is becoming a challenging task for the government.

The government is working to give shelter to the vulnerable street children and it has taken various steps, including rehabilitation programs, for such children. Of the 700,000 street children, 250,000 live in capital Dhaka alone.

According to a study of Combating Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CCSEC) consortium, 86% of street children are addicted to drugs, and most of them are traumatized due to various terrible experiences in their life.

The CCSEC project is run with a fund of the European Union (EU). It mainly works to stop sexual abuse of street children.

It found that over 20,000 children are born and live in 12 registered brothels across the country.

The study says it is working on the street children centred at Shah Ali Mazar in Dhaka’s Mirpur area. The mazar or shrine is used as a centre by hundreds of street children. There are a dozen catchment areas around the shrine where the street children live and work.

The street children also endure increased risks regarding their safety and well-being. Many of them work, often in hazardous and low-pay jobs, to support themselves and their families.

The boys are used to petty hefting, while the girls are often forced into sex work.

CCSEC project’s goal

The overall objective of the project is to contribute to the elimination of commercial sexual exploitation of children in Bangladesh.

The specific objective of the project is to protect and promote the rights of survivors and those at risk through facilitating implementation of ILO Convention 182 (ILO-C182) and UNCRC Optional Protocol two (UNCRC-OP-2) in Bangladesh.

The CCSEC project covers the capital’s Mirpur area and Tangail. Its target population is 870 street children and 130 children of sex workers.

The study found that 1,000 survivors and at risk children have been protected from commercial sexual exploitation or similar practices, and had their rights ensured, by applying holistic and integral care.

The survivors and at risk children influence policy and implementation of ILO-C182 and UNCRC-OP-2 in Bangladesh through engaging with civil society and media.

The CCSEC project working to implement the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, formed at its 66th session (May 26 - June 13, 2014), defined CLO as “competent bodies” that can provide expert advice on the actual implementation of the UNCRC.

Md Shohidul Islam, technical manager of the CCSEC consortium, told BSS that the project has been working for the welfare of street children in Mirpur area.

The study has been released about the street children in Bangladesh to spread the message to the world on how street children are facing various problems and are growing up with psychological problems, he said.

These street children should be rehabilitated by the government and non-government organizations for a beautiful and better Bangladesh.

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